This book explores the interplay between government and media drawing on unique evidence from, and in-depth analysis of, four national cases: Finland, Lithuania, Poland and Sweden. Based on the chapters dedicated to each country, five additional chapters address the following cross-national themes: government communication, social media, formality/informality in journalist-source relations, mediatisation of politics, and political communication culture.The book reveals what really goes on between the political executive and the media in everyday practices within these countries. First, it uncovers a process of mediated political-cultural change within media-political systems. Second, it illustrates the workings of prime ministerial power and communication aides at this apex of political power and the media and those who work there. Third, it examines both the struggle within governing institutions to control the flow of information and the tensions between civil servants and political aides, and takes the reader through the four media-political contexts rooted in a deep knowledge of these relationships.The result is an illuminating and original analysis of politics, political communication, media and journalism, and offers greater understanding of the realities of government – and democracy – and media in practice as well as the role of media within contemporary politics.