Over the years, a considerable amount of predominantly American academic research has addressed the relationship between media and foreign policy (e.g. Cohen, 1967; Entman, 2004; Nacos et al., 2000), especially during international crises (e.g. Hallin, 1986; Bennett and Paletz, 1994; Mermin, 1999), but crossnational research on the subject has remained relatively rare (Stolle & Hooghe 2005). Consequently, it is still unclear to what degree country characteristics, such as differences in national media systems, political systems and position in the international system, affect the generality of the US-originated theories of mediastate relations. This issue of WPCC brings together five articles which contribute to widening our understanding of media-foreign policy nexus across countries as ‘[r]eal advances in theoretical development with respect to the media and foreign policy will ultimately depend on our looking at more countries, rather than just at more cases’ (Cohen, 1994: 11).