PPA administers press cards for members through the UKPCA.
Ellie Austin scored a job at Immediate Media as a Features Writer for Radio Times after graduating from the Magazine Journalism MA course at City University. Here she talks about working in the fast-paced world of a major weekly magazine and the power of a good coffee.
Press Cards identify the cardholder as a newsgatherer. Press Cards give no authority or privileges, but are accepted as a means of identification by UK Police forces who may, at their discretion, give cardholders access beyond that afforded to the general public. Please note that access to major or Royal events almost always requires additional tickets or passes.
About Press Cards
Press Cards for newsgatherers are issued as part of a scheme authorised and approved by the National Police Chiefs' Council. Nineteen groups (known as Gatekeepers) issue Press Cards on behalf of the organising committee. A full list of Gatekeepers can be found at www.presscard.uk.com. All Press Cards are identical, except for the issuing Gatekeeper’s logo in the top right hand corner. Each Press Card contains the sponsoring company’s name, the cardholder’s name and job title, an expiry date, a serial number and a photograph of the cardholder.
The PPA is one of the 19 Gatekeepers and looks after applications from the UK magazine and business media industry and associated areas of publishing as one of the services provided to PPA publisher members. PPA Press Cards will only be issued to staff, freelancers or other suppliers sponsored and approved by a PPA member company. Please note that PPA Press Cards are for newsgatherers only – sales and PR personnel are not eligible.
Applying for a Press Card
To apply for a PPA Press Card, you will need to complete a Press Card Application Form and send it to the PPA, along with a cheque for £33.00 (inclusive of VAT and UK postage and packing). Additional charges apply for overseas applications. Please note, you are only entitled to hold one Press Card at a time.
> Please email Laura Rutkowski or call 020 7404 4166 for more details.
Complaints about the system or refusals to supply a card should be made to the relevant Gatekeeper, and will be discussed at the next meeting of the co-ordinating committee, which meets quarterly. If you have any further queries please email Laura Rutkowski or call 020 7404 4166. Press Cards are intended for use in the UK, and technically have no validity overseas. However, in many parts of the world journalists have to carry identification cards and PPA Press Cards are in regular use abroad for this purpose. The words 'Press Card' and 'Scotland Yard' have been known to open many a closed door – but don’t press your luck too far! The verification procedure will work from abroad, but Scotland Yard will not accept reverse charge calls.
Renewals are only administered by PPA for individuals currently employed by PPA members. Renewal applications must be made by the sponsoring PPA member company. To renew your PPA Press Card, you will need to complete a PPA Press Card Renewal Form (or a PPA Press Card Freelance Renewal Form if you are a freelancer) and send it to PPA, together with a cheque for £33.00 (inclusive of VAT and UK postage and packing). If you wish to pay by credit/debit card please contact Laura and note there will be a handling charge of 3% if you pay by American Express.
Use of Press Cards
Press Cards from all Gatekeepers are processed by the same supplier. This supplier maintains a log of all cards issued, and checks for duplicate applications. On your application form, you will supply a Personal Identification Number (PIN), like a credit card. This, together with the Press Card serial number, is supplied to an office at Scotland Yard in London. The telephone number of the Scotland Yard contact point can be found on the back of each Press Card. Anyone that wants to check your card’s authenticity can call Scotland Yard and ask them to check the serial number on the card and your PIN with the numbers they hold on their database. Scotland Yard does not have access to any other information – this all stays with the Gatekeeper.
PPA Press Cards are valid for up to one year, after which they must be renewed. If you have any queries please email Laura Rutkowski or call 020 7404 4166.