This article seeks to map systematically predictors of journalists’ perceived professional autonomy. On the basis of survey responses of 1,800 journalists from 18 countries, the study tests the extent to which journalists with different backgrounds and jobs, who work for different media and organizations, under different kinds of ownerships and pressures, in democratic and nondemocratic regimes, can perform their roles as society’s main providers of information. We demonstrate that predictors of professional autonomy are twofold: comprising journalists’ perceived influences on news work, and objective limits of autonomy that exist beyond journalists’ perceptions. The latter reside on 3 levels: the individual journalist level, the organizational level, and the societal level. Journalists’ subjective perceptions of political, organizational, procedural, professional, and reference group influences proved to be strongest predictors of professional autonomy. Of the hypothesized objective determinants of journalists’ autonomy, ownership, editorial rank, and professional experience had the highest predictive value.

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