I am fully entering my photojournalist era. For the past few years, I was under the impression that to obtain an NYC Press Card Credential, my work needed to be published by a formal publication. Although I engage in concert photography for a publication, those events are considered private. As it turns out, the criteria for defining ‘media’ coverage is quite expansive! This is likely a result of the continuously evolving definition of what qualifies as media. The press is no longer confined to traditional outlets like magazines, newspapers, and TV; the advent of social media has significantly altered the landscape, democratizing individuals’ ability to reach audiences beyond some institutional limitations.
The Press Credentials Office accepts applications from freelancers, independents, and full-time employees of news-gathering organizations. A press card allows members of the press to access parts of events that the general public can’t, like crossing police and fire lines. These include:
Being a professional photographer and full-time content creator based in New York City, I consistently center my efforts on the Big Apple. Public events I was already sharing about on my own include Fourth of July and Thanksgiving Day Parade. It only seemed logical to acquire a press card to facilitate access. Independent freelancers, such as myself, are eligible to apply, as long as the coverage is publicly posted on my accounts. Remarkably, my application received approval in a day, even over a major holiday weekend (New Year).
There are three types of applications, Single Event, Standard, and Reserve Press Card, but I’m only going over the Standard Press Card application since that’s what I submitted for. There are full tutorials for the other two applications on the PCO website.
To be eligible, six or more articles, commentaries, books, photographs, videos, films, or audios must be published, broadcasted, or cablecast within the 24 months preceding the application. The event coverage must occur on separate days, in one of the five boroughs, and be covered in person.
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