THE UK PRESS CARD AUTHORITY Ltd (UKPCA) manages a voluntary scheme for issuing press/media credentials - the UK Press Card - to professional newsgatherers working in the UK. It is wholly owned and collectively controlled by the UK's major media organisations, industry associations, trades unions, and professional associations.
The scheme is managed through 19 gatekeepers. These are national organisations which represent or employ journalists and other media personnel (employed or freelance) whose work involves gathering material for editorial publication in all media -- print, broadcast and electronic.
Each gatekeeper issues the UK Press Card to its members, or to those whom it or its members employ. The gatekeeper is responsible to the UKPCA Board for ensuring that the conditions of the scheme are adhered to.
The UK Press Card is produced by a single card contractor who holds a database of all holders. The card itself is produced to the highest modern standards, and its features are described on a poster which can be downloaded from this website. Cards have both security and verification features, and every card has to be renewed at least every two years.
The definition of eligibility is that a newsgatherer must be "wholly or significantly concerned". "professionally as a media worker who needs to identify himself or herself in public". In simple terms, s/he must earn most or all of his/her income on the front-line of the news business. The principal occupations covered include reporters and writers, photographers, TV camera operators and crews, and other broadcasting workers such as producers, researchers, dispatch riders and drivers.
The scheme was launched in 1992 by all the major industry bodies with the help of the Metropolitan Police. The aims were: the end of the proliferation of press cards; and agreement on a universallyrecognised card (bearing the word PRESS). The card is formally recognised by all police forces in the UK, by the Ministry of Justice, and de facto by other public bodies.
The UKPCA is governed by a board of directors representing every gatekeeper (each of whom holds one of the company's 19 shares). There are also a secretary and independent chair. It has a Gatekeepers' Committee (in practice a mirror of the board) which oversees the operation of the scheme, but does not itself issue cards. The committee can direct applicants to the appropriate gatekeeper if necessary.
Occasionally new gatekeepers have been admitted to the scheme.
The strict criteria include:
1 Obtaining a Press Card
If you think you need a press card in the course of your work and comply with the criteria laid out in the rules, you will have to apply through one of the gatekeepers listed below. Look through the list and see which Gatekeeper seems the most appropriate and contact that Gatekeeper.
2 Renewing Press Cards
If you need to renew your press card,you should apply through the Gatekeeper who issued the press card to you. If you do not remember from whom you got the card,the prefix initials of the card number will give you the initials of the appropriate Gatekeeper organization.
3 Lost/Stolen Press cards
If you lose your press card or have it stolen, you need to re-apply through the Gatekeeper from whom you originally obtained the card. If you cannot remember which Gatekeeper issued your card then you should email the card manufacturer Custom Card International Services International (CCSI) with your full name,date of birth and home address to firstname.lastname@example.org. CCSI will email back the gatekeeper contact address to enable you to request the replacement card.
Any card can be verified using the Hotline 0870 837 6477. Ask the cardholder for their personal PIN or password and give it to the operator with the card serial number.
For a complete card check use Verification Hotline, check the card photo, check the UK Press Card Authority hologram, and check the card expiry date.
The UK Press Card Scheme
Telephone: 01983 298060
WHO ARE THE GATEKEEPERS?
These are the organisations that issue press cards, with definitions of the newsgatherers they represent:
British Association of Journalists
PO Box 742,
Contact: Sarah Light - Membership and Press Card Enquiries
Please contact using the BAJ Contact Form
Tel: 020 7353 3003
Web Site: www.bajunion.org.uk
Covers: Journalists in all media
BBC PRESS CARDS
NBH 02 D,
Contact: Lucy Atkinson / Trina John-Charles
Web Site: www.bbc.co.uk
Covers: TV, radio, staff and contract staff; national, regional and local
Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications
and Theatre Union (BECTU)
373-377 Clapham Road,
Contact: Kash Cheeta
Tel: 020 7346 0900
Fax: 020 7346 0901
Web Site: www.bectu.org.uk
Covers: Production staff and freelances in TV and radio. BECTU also covers independent TV and video production.
British Forces Broadcasting Service
Chalfont St Peter,
Contact: Laura Taylor
Web Site: www.bfbs.com
Covers: British Forces News & Forces TV.
British Press Photographers' Association
2 Lansdowne Crescent,
Contact: Jeff Moore
Enquiries: Joanne Turner
Web Site: www.thebppa.com
Covers: Freelance Photographers.
124 Horseferry Road,
Contact: Liz Hudson
Tel: 0207 306 3703
Web Site: www.channel4.com/news/
Covers: Channel 4 News.
Chartered Institute of Journalists
2 Dock Offices,
Surrey Quays Road,
Contact: Dominic Cooper / Norman
Tel: 020 7252 1187
Web Site: www.cioj.org
Covers: Journalists in all media.
Council of Photographic News Agencies
Avalon Licencing Limited
333 Portobello Road,
Contact: Gary Dunn
Tel: 020 7421 6000
Covers: National and international picture agencies.
Event & Visual Communication Association (EVCOM)
Unit K, Reliance Wharf,
Contact: Claire Fennelow
Tel: 07985 251889
Web Site: www.evcom.org.uk
Covers: Users and suppliers of business communication and events.
Foreign Press Association (FPA) Contact: Deborah Bonetti - Director Contact: Katie Cross - Press Cards Tel: 07508 686446 Web Site: www.fpalondon.org Covers: Journalists from overseas
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Here GB News Contact: Lucinda Duckett
2 Swan Lane,
Contact: Deborah Bonetti - Director
Contact: Katie Cross - Press Cards
Tel: 07508 686446
Web Site: www.fpalondon.org
Covers: Journalists from overseas media working in the UK
Additional Information: Click Here
Contact: Lucinda Duckett
Tel: 0202 989 3630
Web Site: www.gbnews.uk
The Guild of Television Camera Professionals
Contact: Andy Reik
Tel: 0300 111 4123
Web Site: www.gtc.org.uk
200 Gray's Inn Road,
Contact: Hannah Taylor
Tel: 020 7430 4895
Web Site: www.itn.co.uk
Covers: ITN News.
2 Waterhouse Square,
Contact: Jacqui Bradley
Tel: 07889 007 197
Fax: 020 7843 8158
Web Site: www.itv.com
Covers: ITV stations
Local TV Network
c/o Bay TV Liverpool,
37-43 Windsor Street,
Contact: Chris James
Web Site: www.localtvnetwork.org.uk
Covers: Local TV Network & MADE TV.
c/o Cavendish Press,
5th Floor, The Landing,
Blue Tower, Media City UK,
Contact: Paul Stewart
Tel: 07990 014104
Web Site: www.napa.org.uk
Covers: Regional and local news agencies in the UK.
News Media Association (NMA)
16-18 New Bridge Street,
Contact: Laura Skerrett
Tel: 0207 963 7488
Web Site: www.newsmediauk.org
**News Media Association was formed due to a merger of the Newspaper Society and Newspaper Publishers Association**
Covers: Newspapers and their websites in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The NMA issues cards to freelance reporters and photographers whose work is known to editors.
National Union of Journalists
72 Acton Street,
Contact: Paul Goldstaub
Tel: 0207 843 3737
Web Site: www.nuj.org.uk
Covers: Journalists in all media. The NUJ also covers freelance photographers in the Association of Photographers.
Professional Publishers Association
The White Collar Factory,
1 Old Street Yard,
Contact: Owen Meredith
Tel: 020 7404 4166
Fax: 020 7404 4167
Web Site: www.ppa.co.uk
Covers: Consumer, Business to Business and Customer magazines published in the UK. Also issues cards for British Society of Magazine Editors.
30 South Colonnade,
Contact: Shakeel Butt
Tel: 0207 250 1122
Web Site: www.reuters.co.uk
Covers: Reuters issues to its staff only.
6 Centaurs Business Park,
Contact: Sara Sheriff
e-mail: email@example.com Tel: 020 7032 4577
Web Site: www.sky.com/skynews
Covers: Sky News television