It is also very important to realize that nothing about being a journalist entitles you to free access to private events like sporting events or rock concerts. Organizers to these events often grant credentials to members of the working press in order to make it easier to cover and photograph the event. Such enhanced access is controlled by the event organizers. If you are shooting the event on assignment for a publication, the assigning editor may be required to request the credentials on your behalf.
If you are not shooting the event on assignment for an organization, you may still attempt to obtain credentials through the same channels. While every event is different, most will have a specific public relations or press contact person. If you cannot find a contact on the website, call the main number and ask for the person who handles media inquiries. Then explain the project you are working on and ask if they will provide you with a media credential.
If the event is run by a governmental agency, they may be required to grant equal access to all members of the media. In such cases, it will be your burden to show that you are actually covering the event as a member of the media and not just looking for a free ticket or better access than the general public.
If you do not meet the requirements to obtain a press credential, you may be required to pay an admission fee to enter the event if you wish to attend. Please note that many events prohibit photography or recording of the event/performance and that purchasing a ticket is for admission purposes only, subject to other restrictions. Never assume that that because you have purchased a ticket to an event that you may also photograph or record the event/performance. Also be aware that event press credentials may also contain certain restrictions. It is extremely important to read any agreements before signing them. By accepting press credentials you may be waiving certain rights, including the copyright to your images!