Press Passes for Freelance Journalists and Photographers

RTEmagicC_Press_Card_image.jpgThe fact that you are a freelance writer or photographer need not keep you away from events covered by staff reporters and others affiliated with a recognized news organization or publisher.

The National Writers Union offers press credentials to members who can document their qualifications as working journalists. An NWU press pass, laminated and complete with your photograph, will help you gain access to important events. You can choose between an international ($99) or domestic ($59) press pass. Both are good for two years plus one week from the date of issue. Continuous union membership for the life of the pass is required.

Eligibility criteria and instructions for applying for either type of press card are included with the application form, which you can download from the link below.

Press Pass Criteria

To demonstrate that you qualify for a press pass, your application must be accompanied by one or more of the following:

  • Evidence of three published print or Web site pieces within the past two years
  • Three audio/video pieces or a 15-minute feature broadcast in the same period
  • Proof of publication in a book or anthology by a non-vanity publisher within the past five years.

New IFJ Press Pass Format

As an affiliate of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the NWU is one of the few organizations in the U.S. able to offer its members the gold standard in international press credentials: the IFJ press card.

After a brief hiatus while we converted to the IFJ’s new wallet-card format, the NWU national office has resumed issuing IFJ press cards to qualified NWU members. Instructions and eligibility criteria are included with the updated application form linked below. If your work as a journalist takes you outside the U.S., the IFJ press card is the best evidence you can provide of your status as a working journalist, especially if you are a freelancer working on spec without an assignment letter or an employer to vouch for you.

The IFJ will no longer issue paper press passes, but has upgraded to a photo ID card. This upgrade by the IFJ office has resulted in a substantial cost increase to NWU and an increase in our workload and an increase in price as well. For those who don’t need the IFJ press pass for use in other countries, the NWU press pass for use within the United States is still available as a lower-cost alternative.

Click here to apply for either an NWU or IFJ press pass.