This volume set out to explore the relationship between the media and public policy. The articles collected here move beyond the traditional dichotomy of excessive media power versus media impotence that has obstructed the academic debate on the political role of the media for years. Our main question that guided the contributors to this volume was whether, how and under which conditions the media influence political decision making. Which conditions promote, and which limit the involvement of the media in the policy process? What are the mechanisms by which the media exert influence? And what kind of influence do the media exert? The volume takes a policy-specific and comparative approach to these questions. Its findings show that the media’s role in the policy process varies significantly depending on the policy field in question. Each policy field constitutes a complex political arena with its own characteristic structures and dynamics; so any attempts to draw conclusions with regard to the political influence of the media in general would fail to acknowledge the complexity of the underlying processes. Rather, these processes can be properly investigated only through a policy-specific contextualization that seeks to interpret media influence within a multicausal framework, taking account of the many and diverse factors impacting on the political process. In the Introduction we suggested the distinction between policy debates and policy institutions as a general framework in which the role of the media in public policy can be conceptualized. In this Conclusion we will further develop this line of argument by emphasizing how the specific settings of policy fields enable, or constrain, media influences on the policy process.