A Comprehensive Guide to Press Cards in the UK

Press cards are essential for journalists and media professionals working in the United Kingdom. This guide will provide you with everything you need to know about obtaining a press card in the UK, including costs, application processes, and where to get one. We’ll also address common questions and provide tips to help you make the most of your UK press card.

Press Cards in the UK: An Overview

In the UK, press cards are issued by various organizations, including the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), the News Media Association (NMA), the BBC, and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). These cards serve as official identification for journalists and grant access to events, interviews, and locations otherwise restricted to the general public.

How Do I Get a Press Card UK?

To obtain a press card in the UK, you’ll need to apply through one of the issuing organizations. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get your press card:

  1. Choose the appropriate issuing organization based on your profession and affiliation, such as the NUJ for union members, the BBC for its employees, or the IFJ for international journalists.
  2. Visit the organization’s website to access the press card application form and gather information about the application process.
  3. Complete the application form and gather the required documents, such as proof of employment, a letter of recommendation, work samples, and identification documents.
  4. Submit your application along with the required documents and fees (if applicable) to the organization.
  5. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your press card either through the mail or by picking it up in person.

How Much is a Press Card UK?

The cost of a UK press card varies depending on the issuing organization and the type of card (e.g., NUJ, BBC, or IFJ). The fees can range from £20 to over £100. It’s essential to research the costs associated with each card before applying to ensure you’re making an informed decision.

Where Can I Get a Press Card in the UK?

As mentioned earlier, UK press cards are issued by various organizations, including:

  • NUJ Press Card: Issued by the National Union of Journalists, this card is available to union members who work in the media industry.
  • BBC Press Card: This card is issued by the British Broadcasting Corporation for its employees who work in journalism and media roles.
  • IFJ Press Card: The International Federation of Journalists issues this card to international journalists working in the UK and abroad.
  • News Media Association Press Card: The NMA issues this card to journalists working for its member organizations, which include major newspapers and news websites.
  • British Association of Journalists: This organization also issues press cards to its members working in the media industry.

Research the most reputable and recognized organizations to ensure your press card is widely accepted within the industry.

Can I Make My Own Press Pass UK?

Creating your own press pass in the UK is not recommended, as official press cards are issued by recognized organizations and contain security features to prevent forgery. Using a self-made press pass may result in denied access to events, potential legal issues, and damage to your professional reputation. It’s essential to apply for a press card through an established organization to ensure your credentials are legitimate and widely accepted.

Tips and Tricks for UK Press Card Holders

To help you make the most of your UK press card, consider these tips and tricks:

  • Always carry your press card with you when attending events, conducting interviews, or visiting restricted locations. This will help ensure you have access when needed and can confirm your professional status.
  • Keep your press card up-to-date by renewing it before it expires. This will prevent any disruptions to your work and maintain your access to media events and privileges.
  • Build a strong professional network by attending industry events and conferences, as this can help open doors to new opportunities and strengthen your career in the media industry.
  • Adhere to journalistic ethics and professional standards while using your press card. Misusing your credentials or violating ethical guidelines can result in the revocation of your press card and damage your professional reputation.


Press cards are vital tools for journalists and media professionals working in the United Kingdom. By following this guide, you’ll be well-equipped to obtain a press card from a reputable organization and use it effectively to enhance your career in the media industry. Remember to research the most appropriate issuing organization for your needs, apply through the correct channels, and follow the tips provided to maximize the benefits of your UK press card.