National Press Club

How do I know what status to apply as?
There are two main categories to apply under; Journalist or Communicator. Sub-categories are listed below:

Journalist Categories

Journalist applicants are defined as persons whose principal occupation for the previous twelve months is at least 50.1% of their income and meets one of the following categories:

Journalist: Reporters, editors, writers, publishers; editorial and news cartoonists or artists; news photographers or videographers; producers, presidents or general managers; librarians, web masters or other editorial employees of a regularly issued news outlet that is supported by advertising, paid subscriptions or funded by a non-profit organization. This includes Journalism Instructors, professors and deans at a college level; and non-fiction authors. This does not include house organs of any organization or movement .

Journalist - Young Member: member of the working press aged 35 or younger.

Journalist - Retired and Over 65: member of the working press aged 65 or older.
Journalist - Non-Resident: Members of the working press who live and work outside of the following areas: Washington, DC and the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; and the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Manassas.

Journalist - Non-Resident Retired: Retired members of the working press who live and work outside of the following areas: Washington, DC and the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; and the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Manassas.

Communicator Categories

Communicator – Former Journalist: This category includes non-editorial employees such as business managers, advertising managers, circulation managers, promotion managers and system operators for qualified news outlets; current or retired press aides for foreign or domestic governments. Professionals who worked 5 of the past 10 years or at least 10 years total as a journalist, authors of books or plays, editors of books or film, poets, television or film script writers and book publishers are also included in this category.

Communicator - Young Member: Journalists aged 35 years or younger.

Communicator - Retired and Over 65: Non-editorial employees such as business managers, advertising managers, circulation managers, promotion managers and system operators for qualified news outlets aged over 65 years. Retired press aides for foreign or domestic governments, authors of books or plays, editors of books or film, poets, television or film script writers and book publishers are included.

Communicator - Non-Resident: Communication professionals who live and work outside of the following areas: Washington, DC and the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; and the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Manassas.

Communicator - Non-Resident Retired: Communications professionals who live and work outside of the following areas: Washington, DC and the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; and the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Manassas.

Communicator - News Source: News Sources, including public relations and communication professionals who have regular contact with the working press.

Communicator - Student: Enrolled full-time in undergraduate or graduate journalism program; or work on campus publications, broadcast outlets or news internet sites; or intern or work part-time for qualified news outlets.

What is a source letter?
A letter from a member of the current working press certifying that you are a bona fide news source. This can be submitted via email or in hand, but it must be from a credentialed journalist. Failure to do so will result in a delay in your application.

I am a Building Tenant. Do I qualify to be a member?
Individuals who would like membership with the National Press Club and whose office of employment is in the building at 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC may apply for membership under the Building Tenant category. Be sure to look to see if you qualify as a Journalist or Communicator member before selecting this option.

What if I don’t have a sponsor for my application?
Not a problem! The membership committee will stand as the sponsor for your application as long as the applicant meets eligibility. Please check the box on the front page of the application.

What is a house organ?
A house organ is a magazine or periodical that is published by a company or organization specifically for its customers or employees.

How do you determine Non-Resident Status?
Non-Resident status is determined by applicants who meet all membership eligibility and reside in and have their principal place of employment outside of the following areas: Washington, DC and the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; the Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William; and the Virginia cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church and Manassas.

What type of Press Credentials do you accept?
If you are a Washington-based journalist, we accept photocopied credentials from the following:

  • Congressional Press, Radio-TV, Periodical or Photography galleries
  • White House
  • Judicial
  • State Department

The National Press Club does not provide or issue press credentials.

I am a freelancer. What can I provide as examples of my work?
As a freelancer, you may submit clips or tapes recently(within the last year) published or broadcast under your name. Include a copy of the masthead of each publication or other proof of professional activity. Please provide a contact for each news outlet.

I don’t have credentials. What can I submit with my application?
If you are not an accredited journalist, please submit a copy of your publication along with any clips or tapes you have recently published.

I recently changed jobs. Do I need to reapply?
No. If you recently changed jobs please contact the Membership Office at members@press.org. We will update your records. If you have a profile on the online Membership Directory please remember to update that as well.

How long does the application process take?
The application process takes around a month to complete. The applications will be reviewed by the Membership Committee in the first part of the month and then approved by the board.

What if my application was not approved?
If your application is not approved, they may require more information from you. Should the committee require any further documents or information about your application, you will be contacted about specific details. If you do receive a letter stating that your membership was not approved, you may reapply for membership after 6 month if your circumstances change.

I was formerly a member of the National Press Club, do I need to reapply?
If you have not been a member for more than 6 months, you will need to fill out a new application with updated employment information. You may need to pay a application fee of $100 or any outstanding balances on your account. Our membership department will contact you if any additional fees apply.