‘Small states revisited’ would be an appropriate label for this issue of Gazette. Small media systems were an object of research mainly in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. In the last 15 years, however, only a few publications have explicitly dealt with small states – despite their growing number. Starting with this observation, we began to prepare a panel session for the 2007 conference of the International Communication Association in San Francisco. This special issue is the result of our discussions.