Research on international news flows has mostly aimed to explain why certain countries and regions are more reported on than others. There are few studies, however, on the reasons why some media outlets cover foreign affairs more intensively than others. This article thus extends our current knowledge by mapping different degrees of cosmopolitan coverage and identifying key conditions that help to explain these differences. Analysing foreign reporting and transnational debate in 12 newspapers from six European countries the study then employs FsQCA as the method for identifying the best ‘recipes’ – defined as the most relevant constellations of conditions for explaining cosmopolitan coverage. These causal recipes combine conditions at the level of the media outlet and conditions related to the country where the respective outlet is situated.