How to Get Your Media Credentials Printed

Things You'll Need

  • InDesign, Quark, word processing or desktop publishing program
  • Passport photo
  • Color printer
  • White card stock
  • Scissors or paper cutter
  • Glue stick or double-sided tape
  • Lanyard with clear plastic holder

Media credentials are a printed press pass that includes your photo and the name of the publication or media outlet where you work. The media outlet typically issues a press pass as a form of identification you can show to access places to cover a story as journalist. If you are a freelance writer, you can create and print your own media credentials. Keep in mind that even if you have printed media credentials, the pass does not automatically grant you access everywhere.

Obtain a passport photo. Go to a drugstore, photographer or passport provider to have a passport photo taken of yourself.

Identify and download a press pass template (see Resources). If you have a design program such as InDesign or Quark, you can choose the template you want to download and save it as a file to your computer. If you are using a word processing program or a desktop publishing program, you can use the template as a guide to lay out your own pass.

Open the template in your program. Open your program, click on the “File” option in the navigation bar and then choose the “Open” option. Find and click on the file you saved in Step 1 to open the template.

Add your company name, media outlet name or publication name. Delete or type over the existing name of the business or media outlet to replace it with the name of your business or the publication or media outlet you represent.

Personalize the pass with your name. Type over or delete the sample text of the journalist’s name to replace it with your name.

Add your title. You can type in “Journalist,” “Media,” “Staff Writer” or the name of your position under your name.

Customize other text or information to reflect your own information.

Modify the size of the picture box, if necessary. Because you will affix the passport-size photo to the press pass, adjust the size of the picture box on the template so that it is large or small enough to fit the passport picture.

Save the changes you made to the file.

Print the pass in color onto a sheet of white card stock. Allow the ink to dry overnight.

Glue the passport photo over the picture box on the template so that it covers the box and the sample photo beneath it completely. You can use a glue stick or double-sided tape to adhere the photo to the press pass.

Slide the pass into a lanyard with a clear front so that the front of the press pass faces out. You may also choose to laminate the card so you can carry it in your wallet instead.