Mediadem| Journalistic Autonomy as a Professional Value and Element of Journalism Culture: The European Perspective
The current combination of economic recession and info-technological revolution is drastically affecting the working environment of journalists and challenging their autonomy more than ever. This article focuses on how journalists in specific European countries perceive professional autonomy and analyzes the various factors that affect such autonomy. Continuity and discontinuity in journalism cultures are factors that can help us to understand the barriers to media independence and the occupational freedom of journalists. Periods of political and economic instability or crisis can bring about a break down in professional values, the loss of whole journalistic communities, and abrupt changes to journalistic practices, all of which have a detrimental impact on journalistic autonomy. Our analysis leads us to suggest that an integrated media policy should not focus solely on discrete elements observable within media systems and practices (such as ownership structures, public service broadcasting, etc.) but should also support invisible configurations of various attributes and practices (such as aspects of professionalization, ethical considerations, and education) that influence the journalistic culture and enhance the quality of journalism over time.