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International press card - which one?

I’m looking for a advice from you about international press-card. In January 2008 I’m going to Lebanon to take pictures of Ashura. In order to get to the south of the country I will need to obtain special permission to photograph. I also need to have a valid press-card. As I never needed it for my photography I don’t know from which organization/institution I should get it. Of course besides Lebanon I would like to use this press-card in other parts on the world in the future. Any recommendations?
Thanks in advance for your help
Aleksander Bochenek

by Aleksander Bochenek at 2007-10-08 13:58:19 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Barcelona , Spain | Bookmark | | Report spam→

First you must be accredited with or belong to a news agency or service. Such as a photo agency, wire service, magazine or newspaper. Magazines usually don’t usually have or give out press cards.

Example, you must work for Reuters, AP, Getty or the many others or a newspaper. In addtion you can belong to a photo agency, of which there are many. There are also journalism associations that have press cards. Ask around in the journalism community in your country for advice and direction.

by Louie Palu | 08 Oct 2007 14:10 | Washington DC, United States | | Report spam→
And what do you guys think about press-card from European Press Federation: https://www.ep-fed.org
Are they recognizable?

by Aleksander Bochenek | 08 Oct 2007 14:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
I know nothing about the EPF but I know that the card issued by them would be no use at all in the UK. Here we have a scheme where cards can only be issued by certain organisations. All cards look the same and are recognised by the police.

Check out:


by Martin Shakeshaft | 08 Oct 2007 15:10 | Back home, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I guess the best thing to do would really be what Louie Palu said, but that’s not easy. I have a press card that’s supposed to work everywhere and as far as getting into museums for free is concerned it really does work. Used it in France, Monaco, London, Sri Lanka, Sicily… Here in Slovenia, you get this card by joining the national press association which is a part of a larger global structure of associations of journalists. This ‘International Federation of Journalists’ issues this card and I have had experience where only this one (yes, they’re all the same) is recognized as valid. Here’s a link to their website: http://www.ifj.org
Good luck and take care!


by Luka Dakskobler | 08 Oct 2007 17:10 | Kranj, Slovenia | | Report spam→
I’m sorry Aleksander, there is no thing like an international press pass. Only press cards issued by national media organisations and journalist associations. May be you should obtain one from the polish journalist …blah blah blah. Besides museums evrybody working in the field, knows there are only national ones…

How about the beer? In Barcelona.

by Heinrich Voelkel | 08 Oct 2007 20:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
I have asked a friend who has some sort of international press credential how she got hers, and she said by being registered as a professional journalist and then she got one through a journalist guild… This was in Italy though, not sure if they have stuff like this everywhere, but maybe worth looking in to. Maybe ask your local journalist union about it…

hope this helped

by Brian L Frank | 08 Oct 2007 20:10 | San Francisco, California, United States | | Report spam→
Sure, let’s have a beer. I’ve send you and email.

by Aleksander Bochenek | 08 Oct 2007 20:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Did you guys take a look at European Press Federation: https://www.ep-fed.org ?
I’m still uncertain if the card is worth anything. The information of the website seems to be convincing…

by Aleksander Bochenek | 08 Oct 2007 20:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Aleksander, too be really honest. The “Ep-fed” is total bullshit. I did have a look at the website and actually bothered to read a little further. Just two klicks away is the reason they set up this whole thing: talking people into paying them a fee, while hoping on some press rebates for cars, free vacations in the sun and the merits of free entrance into museums as well. Forget it.

Call the Polish Journlist Union, ask how much you have to pay to become a member and you will get your press pass. Dont bother with crap like the one above…

by Heinrich Voelkel | 08 Oct 2007 22:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
www.ep-fed.org really doesn’t look very promissing. It’s more of a lottery. I know a lot of people who have press cards but they don’t seem to work. Happened in Monaco. Only mine was accapted.

Well, like I said. I got the most out of the one from www.ifj.org, because it joins all national associations of journalists into one union. And people know it wherever I come. Works at the airports, too, when you have way to much cary-on luggage. So I’d say you take Heinrich’s advice and go to the national journalist association, which is probably a part of a broader, global union – probably IFJ – and you’ll get your press card there.

by Luka Dakskobler | 08 Oct 2007 23:10 | Kranj, Slovenia | | Report spam→
Luka, looks good your idea…the germn members in the ifj are two of the three only allowed to issue an official german press card…

by Heinrich Voelkel | 08 Oct 2007 23:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
I’ve found personally that the quality of a press card is directly proportional to the caliber of rifle you’re facing.
Take Louie and Heinrich’s advice.

by . | 09 Oct 2007 06:10 | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
It’s quite easy to get temporary membership from the British NUJ, you just need to show a few clippings, you get a press card that is recognised in France and other countries too. I believe temporary membership is about £65 per year. You’d have to go through one of the local offices, they have them in several European capitals or maybe conact the head office in London.

by Andrew Wheeler | 09 Oct 2007 07:10 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
The Chartered Institute of Journalists in the UK offer an international press card to their accredited UK Press Card holders here in the UK – and are themselves one of the UK gatekeeper organisations for the national press card. They are likely to be aware of any standards on International cards. Contact them through the website at www.cioj.co.uk

Hope that helps, Michael

by Michael Cockerham | 09 Oct 2007 07:10 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
the big advantage of a press card is security. if your going to photograph there, YOU WILL be asked what you are doing. the press cars is a help. but a cover note in the area’s tongue is the method to reduce hassel. the local police dont speak english or french.
have a good trip

by Myles mc Corry | 09 Oct 2007 13:10 | newry, Ireland | | Report spam→
Hi, the way you can get a press card is by asking an agency, newspaper etc to do it or to join the national press union, and then you can get the International Press Card issued by IFJ (International Federation of Journalists).
When in my country, i dont ever use any press card that i have but when travelling, always carrying y international press card to be secured.

by [former member] | 09 Oct 2007 13:10 | Nicosia, Cyprus | | Report spam→
Thanks for the tips. I will try to get it this way.

by Aleksander Bochenek | 09 Oct 2007 14:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
All right! Thanks to you guys seems like I’m on the good path now. I’ve called both IFJ and polish national federation – SDP. As you sad I have to join national first and than apply for the international card. Polish SDP is very helpful and they will let me join from here (Barcelona) without too much of the bureaucracy. Hope to get the card on time.
Thanks a lot!

by Aleksander Bochenek | 11 Oct 2007 13:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
ashura is a public events i think you dont need international press card you can have access without but you have to pass by hezbollah office to get access permission.

by char abumansoor | 21 Oct 2007 18:10 | beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→
Char, that you for your info/opinion. Can you advise to which hezbollah office I should go when I’m there?

by Aleksander Bochenek | 21 Oct 2007 21:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Martin – not quite true about the UK press card. I have been working in London for three months with an IJF press pass and that’s been accepted whenever I’ve needed to produce one (three times so far to the police). Perhaps it helps that I am clearly a foreigner, I don’t know?

I need to find a way of obtaining an NUJ pass without having to shell out £300 to join one of the foreign correspondents’ bodies(?).

by Wade Laube | 21 Oct 2007 22:10 | Edinburgh, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
international press card from the international federation of journalists – IFJ
you get it in your union. and the wallet they give you with it it’s great to hold a passport.
cheers and good luck

by [former member] | 21 Oct 2007 22:10 | Lisboa, Portugal | | Report spam→
What is one (freelancer) to do if they don’t belong to their local union because they relocate too often? I’m an American living in Italy but will be moving to Southeast Asia very soon but not sure for how long. Afterwhich I could be moving back to Europe or the States.

How long does the process take to become a member of a local union?
Anyone have experience of this in Italy, USA, Cambodia and Thailand?

additional info posted on Lightstalkers:

by Peter Harris | 22 Oct 2007 07:10 | Rome, Italy | | Report spam→
Hi I have travelt all over the world with my press pass from IFJ and it always works.
I also carry my national press pass with me (just in case).
You can get the IFJ card trough your national Press Pass issuer.

All the best

Thomas Sjørup

by Thomas Sjørup | 22 Oct 2007 07:10 | Copenhagen, Denmark | | Report spam→

You DO need a Press Card to get any permission from anybody in Lebanon. This is a MUST. First to get the basic one the “Ministry of Information” one, which would get you all the others the “Ministry of Defense” and the “Hezbollah” permission.. The Hezbollah office you should visit for permission is in the suburbs any taxi driver in the city knows about it or even a hotel if you are staying there. My friend took a bus and he got to the office all by himself. It’s where you should get a permission to get into any village or town that is a Hezbollah stronghold.. cheers, D

by Dalia Khamissy | 22 Oct 2007 08:10 | Beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→
Thanks all – currently I’m during the process of getting the national press-card. Just after receiving it I will apply to IFJ for the international one – I just hope I will get it all done in time before Ashura…

by Aleksander Bochenek | 22 Oct 2007 19:10 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Aleksander-did this work for you?

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 03 Dec 2007 14:12 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
I’m still waiting for the national one. Once I get it I will apply for the international.


by Aleksander Bochenek | 03 Dec 2007 14:12 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
Hi guys. I’ve managed to become the member of SDP (polish journalist association) and get the International card from IFJ. Most likely I will be heading to Lebanon soon. I still need to organize many things. One of them is the letter of accreditation (cover note). How should it look like (contents) and in what language it should be written? I will prepare such and ask my friends in the newspaper to sing it.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions

by Aleksander Bochenek | 05 Jan 2008 21:01 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
What about unions for the U.S.? I’m looking on IFJ and can’t find anything…

edit: I think I may have found something…

by [former member] | 06 Jan 2008 17:01 (ed. Jan 6 2008) | Philadelphia, United States | | Report spam→
what ever you do when you get there, keep some people informed about your location in case something goes wrong. i believe that there are LS members based in Lebanon that will give you info and help as soon as you get there. we need trustfull contacts where ever we are.

by [former member] | 06 Jan 2008 19:01 | Nicosia, Cyprus | | Report spam→
Aleksander, your letter should naturally state that you work for this magazine or newspaper or news agency and that you are here on an assignment for them.. It could be in French, English or Arabic (which is probably not the option you will go for).. The 3 languages are very fine here.. By the way you didn’t really need an international press card, a local one would have done the job.. Anyway good luck.. Hmmm by the way, Ashoura should be in 9 days so if you want to capture that you should hurry in getting here.. cheers, Dalia

by Dalia Khamissy | 09 Jan 2008 11:01 | Beirut, Lebanon | | Report spam→
Ok, guys. Seems I have most of the information I need already. I flying there tomorrow.
Great thanks

by Aleksander Bochenek | 10 Jan 2008 14:01 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→

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Aleksander Bochenek, Photographer Aleksander Bochenek
Krakow , Poland
Louie Palu, photojournalist Louie Palu
Kandahar , Afghanistan
Martin Shakeshaft, Photojournalist Martin Shakeshaft
Barcelona , Spain
Luka Dakskobler, photojournalist Luka Dakskobler
Kranj , Slovenia
Heinrich Voelkel, Heinrich Voelkel
Barcelona , Spain ( BCN )
Brian L Frank, Photojournalist Brian L Frank
San Francisco , United States ( SFO )
., .
Victoria , Canada ( YYJ )
Andrew Wheeler, Photographer Andrew Wheeler
Paris , France
Michael Cockerham, Documentalistic Bystander Michael Cockerham
Documentalistic Bystander
(Image Matters)
Cologne , Germany
Myles mc Corry, freelance photo/script jo Myles mc Corry
freelance photo/script jo
Copaghagen , Denmark
char abumansoor, photographer char abumansoor
Beirut , Lebanon
Wade Laube, Wade Laube
Sydney , Australia
Peter Harris, photographer Peter Harris
New York , United States
Thomas Sjørup, News Photographer Thomas Sjørup
News Photographer
Nairobi , Kenya
Dalia Khamissy, Photographer Dalia Khamissy
Beirut , Lebanon ( AAA )
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Spring Lake, Michigan , United States


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