This article analyzes the influence of economic and political institutions on the attention of the leading print media of the G20 countries to political leaders. Based on the Factiva database which indexes publications from 35 000 mass media of 159 countries of the world, we collected the database on the number of mentions of country leaders in the five leading publications of all the countries of the G20 for 2018. In addition, we use the Institutional Quality Index data to assess the quality of institutions in the countries we study. In this study we use the theory of global news flow and the concept of political personalization. We show that attention to the leaders of countries with good economic institutions is higher than to the leaders of countries with poor economic institutions. However, the relationship with political institutions is the opposite: more attention is given to the leaders of countries with law-quality political institutions. In addition, the results show that the media of countries with more developed economic institutions are less likely to mention leaders of countries with less developed economic institutions. But for the differences in political institutions the situation is the opposite: the media of countries with more developed political institutions more often mention leaders of countries with poor political institutions. We can conclude that the leaders of authoritarian countries seek to participate in the formation of the agenda and achieve a higher level of self-attention despite economic factors. This study complements the theory of global news flow by indicating that political factors are no less important in shaping the international media agenda than the economical factors.