Stuff Journalists Like – #32 Press Passes

Press passesjpgCops have their shields. FBI agents have their badges. And journalists have their press passes.

These passes, usually created in house using photoshop, a white wall for background and a laminator, proves to theworld event organizers that we belong there. That is why journalists like press passes.

Because anyone can be a journalist, it’s important for those in the business of collecting news to have a method of separating the self-employed bloggers amateurs from the pros, who work for major publicly held conglomerates.

On top of flashing their credentials to get into exclusive events, like the local county Democrats’ dinner fund raiser, journalists really like displaying their passes on lanyards. It allows journalists to show they belong where they are and allows them to be snobby without digging in their wallets for their press pass. Some even like keeping a collection of current and expired press passes on these lanyards.


  1. Pat Curry says:

    My husband is a photojournalist, and has press passes going back 30 years. We pulled them out a couple of weeks ago. There were Super Bowls, the Olympics, presidential campaigns, shuttle launches, all kinds of stuff. It really is a record of his entire career. I can see why he’s kept them.

  2. ksteinhoff says:

    Several years ago I pulled out my collection of press passes and mounted them between two sheets of glass so you could see both sides.
    The photos on them demonstrate just how strong the law of gravity is. My hair all slid down to my chin and my chest and my stomach traded places sometime in the past.
    I was telling someone the other day about how exciting the life was, though. I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.

  3. Justin says:

    I just found this site today on my lunch break, and had an encounter that reminded me of this post five minutes ago. I finally got home to find six cop cars in the parking lot of the apartments, and all the neighbors standing out on their porches trying to get a glimpse of the action.
    So I, of course, pulled out my press badge, slund my Nikon over my shoulder, walked up to the least busy-looking cop, and said “Hey, what’s up?”
    “Nothin’, just a little domestic dispute.”
    “Not worth putting in the paper, then.”
    “Nah.” He smiled.
    “Alright, thanks. I just have to check every time I see a bunch of y’all in one place,” I replied, wiggling my press pass.
    I love this job.

  4. Justin says:

    I hope to someday amass a collection worth hanging on the wall. I only have four from as many years of work — two versions of the paper’s in-house ID, a football pass for the local college, and one from a Don Henley concert. That’s the problem with small towns — a big DSLR will get you into almost anything, and the “this guy works for the paper” badge will cover the situations the camera alone won’t.

  5. Boing Boing says:

    Stuff Journalists Like

    Most everyone I know loves a good inside joke. You know, the kind that makes fun of some stereotypical characteristic of some subset of human beings, yet applauds the lifestyle at the same time. I am no exception to this rule and have thoroughly enjoy…

  6. Paul says:

    Truly one of the perks of a media job are the passes that get you into everything. Seeing someone perform on stage is cool, but seeing him backstage yelling at roadies is so much better.
    The envious gazes from on-lookers as you flash that little laminated pass make it all the better.
    I’m up to about 25 of them now. Saved every one from the last 3 years.

  7. Lorenzo says:

    So True… on the one hand I’m keeping all my badges since 1981… on the other, keeping a press card in your wallet gives U sometimes the idea of holding a paspartout… Lovely!

  8. Katie C. says:

    Oh, good! After reading these comments, I don’t feel quite so bad about keeping every one of the press passes I’ve ever been given.

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