Who gets media credentials—and who doesn’t?

One in five journalists has had media credentials denied at least once, according to a recently released survey of journalists and news organizations nationwide.

The report, “Who Gets a Press Pass? Media Credentialing Practices in the United States,” takes a snapshot of the media’s current ability to access government.

In summary, the report makes this acknowledgement: “The journalism market in the United States is more diverse than ever before, with a wide array of independent newsgatherers complementing the work of institutional news organizations.”

The report also acknowledges that this diversification of news has led to some confusion as to who is a journalist and how some organizations define journalism.

In the survey, journalists answered questions about their experiences in acquiring media credentials from federal, state, local and private organizations from 2008 and 2013.

Here are some findings:

  • One out of every five journalists surveyed who applied for a credential was denied at least once by a credentialing organization in the past five years. Although there may be reasonable grounds for denial in some cases, the data suggest systemic issues at many levels.
  • Freelancers are more than twice as likely as employed journalists to be denied a credential at least once.
  • Those identifying themselves as photographers are almost twice as likely as others to be denied a credential at least once.
  • Those identifying themselves as activists are more than twice as likely as others to be denied a credential at least once.

To see learn more about the report, visit http://www.dmlp.org/credentials/