Previous research suggests that the news media's reporting about politics in terms of strategy fosters political cynicism. The question remains, however, what individual and contextual factors facilitate or inhibit this effect. In this study, we draw on a unique multimethod and comparative cross-country design, combining a media content analysis (N = 48,892) with a 2-wave panel survey conducted in 21 countries (N = 22,791) during the 2009 European Parliamentary elections. Our findings show that citizens who are less aware of the election campaign become more cynical. Furthermore, strategy news has an effect on cynicism in countries in which quality of governance is higher. Overall, our study provides the first comprehensive overview over the conditional impact of election news on political cynicism in comparative perspective.