In social sciences, the interdependence between media systems and political systems is generally not in doubt. However, empirical knowledge about the relation between
the two types of systems is rare. A deeper understanding can be gained by an international comparison of media and political systems from a macro perspective using aggregated data. The pilot study presented in this article offers an approach to international comparison based on four dimensions: freedom, diversity, centrality and tradition. These concepts serve as dimensions of comparison for both media- and political systems. The instrument is tested by using an intentionally heterogeneous sample of seven countries from around the world: China, Germany, Japan, Mexico,the Netherlands, Russia and the US. In combination with a pragmatic use of systems theory as a theoretical framework, the dimensions allow more profound insights into
the relation between media- and political systems. In sum, the research project prepares the ground for future international large-N comparisons.