Police forces and other organisations are warned today about a so-called “press pass” which is being sold by Demotix, the amateur journalists’ website.
UK Press Card Authority chair Mike Granatt said:
“The Demotix ‘press pass’ is nothing of the sort, despite the fact that it is designed to look like a genuine journalists’ identity document.
“The National Press Card is the card of professional journalists within the UK. All the major media organisations, associations and trades unions are part of the scheme. They include the BBC, SKY, ITN, the Newspaper Publishers Association, the NUJ, and the Newspaper Society.
(A full list of the 17 organisations and a copy of the card can be found at www.ukpresscardauthority.co.uk)
“We have worked hard over many years to establish the National Press Card as the ID for professional journalists. It is designed to assure the police and others that the holder is a professional newsgatherer, working full-time to serve the public.”
“Our concern is that the police and third parties might be misled by the Demotix card. Its intention is confirmed by Demotix’s advice on their website which suggests ‘…walking up to the authorities with swagger, then shove the press pass in their face along with ‘that’s right, I have access to this event’ grin on your face.’”
Granatt added: “No professional journalist would behave like that. And no-one should encourage anybody to try to bluster their way past a cordon or into an event with this hobbyists’ ‘press pass’.
“We will be contacting police forces across the country to alert them to the Demotix card.”