Miso Sevelj Enters Our Hall of Shame
Warning! Do Not Grant Media Access
On Nov. 6, 2010, Michel Miso Sevelj a New York photographer decided to join IPA. He called our offices to see if he could get rush service on his Press ID kit because he wanted to gain media access to a fashion show being held in New York. I personally spoke to him to explain how our program works and that media access is not granted to anyone with a press card, but rather based on the media outlet, the number of press members allowed at the event and of course the photographers body of works.
After working with Miso, who appeared to be computer challenged, I questioned how he would be able to function in our organization and he insisted he could. Over the next few months, he called me personally at all hours of the day and late evening to ask questions from using the computer to completing online media request forms. Everything he asked me has been answered in the many articles on our website, after all we are a web based organization and if he took the time or effort to read the information, he would be better equipped to do what needed to be done to gain access. It soon became evident to me, that he had no respect for IPA and began to invade my privacy with many late night calls to my personal cell phone.
I should have realized this member was not the typical IPA member and never should have went out of my way to take the time to complete some of the event forms for him because he just seemed to be so lost. I tried many times to explain how our system works and how he needed to complete the media request forms on the event web sites and then maybe he would gain that access he wanted. He appeared to be angry, short tempered and didn’t want to listen to anything I had to say. At times it was difficult to talk to him which may be due to his Eastern European background or culture and his forceful and demanding manner, but I continued to try my best to help him. I should realize that some people simply cannot be helped and not everyone has the ability to communicate with others properly, which I believe is the real reason he was denied access at these events.
After six months of membership and a lot of hand holding and listening to his complaints on how IPA wasn’t helping him gain the access to these shows, we received a Pay Pal chargeback to our account and discovered he had contacted his credit card company and claimed he didn’t receive the services promised and asked them to charge us back for the entire membership fee, which they did.
Not only was his claim untrue, but if he had simply followed our advice and did what was required we are certain he would have had more success in his attempts to gain media access. Media access to any event is never guaranteed, even if you worked as a full time staff member of a major print or broadcast media outlet. It is usually determined by the type of outlet you represent, the benefit your coverage would give to the event, the quality of the staff member or media outlets works and of course your ability to convince them to give you the access you want. Of course readership is one of the keys to gaining access and IPA receives from 35,000-50,000 unique visitors to our site each month, which is more impressive then many printed publications. One other consideration is the type of event you want access to.
If an event is a high profile event that every media outlet wants to cover they usually allow a limited number of photographers, videographers and journalists cover the event and in many cases will grant that access to those they know, the press members that will give them the greatest amount of positive coverage and outlets that reach their desired audience. If you are a staff member of a sports publication covering sporting events, the chances of you gaining media access to a couture fashion show is going to be difficult. There are many reasons for denials and as a professional member of the media you understand this and learn to live with it. Those without any professional affiliations with a media outlet like IPA, the chances of gaining access to these events is impossible.
If Miso understood how the internet works, how to publish his works properly on our site, or how to complete a simple media request form on an event website and was more of a diplomat, then we are sure he would have had greater success. Many people believe that all one needs to do is flash a Press Card to gain important media access, but today one must be able to pass a vetting process that the events organizers will run in order to determine if you and the company you represent is worthy of that access. IPA and other media outlets are never guaranteed media access to all events and an IPA member is told this in every article we write in our members blog and on this site.
Yet with all this information, Mr. Sevelj, didn’t seem to want to listen or understand how IPA has helped others gain important access and get the experience and credibility they have wanted through our program. He has not only violated our Terms of Membership, asked his credit card company to charge us back on the membership fee (after 6 months of use) but he has refused to return the Press ID kit he was issued.
IPA Press ID kits are the properly of IPA and issued to our members for their use while they are active members in good standing. On termination or expiration of membership they are supposed to be returned to IPA, yet Miso who claims that he is not using our Press ID has refused to return it to us. Therefore he is quilty of theft of services and illegal use and pocession of IPA documents.
In the 20 years IPA has been in operation this is the first member that we have had a problem with out of the thousands that have joined our organization in that time.
Should Mr. Sevelj attempt to gain any media access or benefits using the IPA press ID, please deny his access and if possible we ask you contact our security office at firstname.lastname@example.org
so we can take appropriate action. Those that grant media access should always verify an IPA members active status by doing a simple member search (a visitor login is required) to see the members status and their published works on our web site or email us
to verify the members status and body of work.
Note: Mr. Sevelj resides at 50W 34th St. #23C5, New York, NY 10001 and claims to be a fashion photographer. He is in illegal possession of IPA Press ID, number 06615 which expires on Nov. 15, 2012. Law enforcement agencies or officers should confiscate this identification and destroy it or return it to IPA.
Update August 23, 2011…
We received a notification from Pay Pal today…
Subject: Chargeback dispute settled in your favor: Case #PP-001-307-291-851
Date: August 23, 2011 2:10:12 AM EDT
We are pleased to inform you that we have successfully disputed chargeback
case #PP-001-307-291-851. The buyer’s card issuer has decided in your
favor and within seven days you will receive reimbursement for $200.00 USD.
Justice has been served. Mr. Sevelj’s membership has been terminated because of his actions. Hopefully he will understand that credit card companies do in fact verify a card holders claims and make a decision based on evidence not on a buyers remorse.