Press passes allow journalists to access high profile and controlled areas. Some passes will grant the holder access to exclusive events, and even highly secure ones, like a White House press conference.


  1. Prepare your credentials. In order to get a press pass you’re going to need credentials, records that you work for a media outlet. If you don’t actually work for a media outlet, but have your own small-time news outlet or television channel, feel free to bring documentation showing that. An ID produced by either your news paper or broadcasting outlet may be helpful as well.

  2. Make contact with the press office for an event you’re trying to cover. Try to contact them as early as possible. Let them know who you are and who you work for. Often a press office will go by the name, public affairs office, or public relations. You may need to sell them on why they want your outlet at an event, and how you would provide them with positive coverage. Accessing a crime scene or other emergency event can be extra tricky. At events like this, the emergency responders may have a public relations expert with them. Try to make contact with them and explain what you are after. If they do not, and refuse you access, try to convince them to call in a public relations person.

  3. Ask about getting a press pass. Some pre-planned events will issue badges to certified members of the media. In these situations, the issuing authority can be pretty tough on credentials. Keep pushing why you are there, to cover the story. Try to convince them it would be a good idea to give you a badge.

  4. Once you have the badge, keep it. Some photographers keep all the little press badges they get for several reasons. Two of the major ones include the badges acting as trophies for the photographer, and serving as a visual indication that you are an experienced journalist. You may find that you can get preferential access to major events on old badges alone.

  5. Make your own badge. If you are representing your own media outlet, say a blog or independent paper, you may consider producing your own badge. Try to make it look as professional as possible. Include your outlet’s logo and name, and be sure to include photo identification and your name. This will make your badge look more legitimate, and help your little outlet reach places it wouldn’t normally be able to.