This article offers an analytical framework to investigate levels of media coverage and effective international negotiation. The framework includes three theoretical models based on the degree to which officials and negotiators allow diplomatic negotiations to be exposed to the media and public opinion. In the secret diplomacy model, the media and the public are totally excluded from negotiations, while in closed-door diplomacy they are partially excluded. In the open diplomacy model, negotiations are much more open to the media and coverage is more extensive. The framework helps to explore fundamental theoretical and professional implications of each model for government officials and negotiators, journalists and public opinion. This article demonstrates the analytical usefulness of the models through applications to various examples and case studies of significant contemporary diplomatic processes.