Major humanitarian crises and disasters broadcasted around the world are often accompanied by an upsurge of global reactions and outpouring of aid pledges. As such, they become symbolic of a ‘global community’ and ‘cosmopolitan solidarity’. The present paper examines this kind of cosmopolitanism and the role of the media in its construction, providing an empirical dimension to a hitherto largely theoretical discussion. Drawing upon focus group discussions with audience members in Greece, the paper will explore how media disasters are being experienced by audiences and the ways this experience is implicated in their perceptions of the world and their place in it. Focusing on the constant interplay between cosmopolitan and national discourses in participants' responses, it will be argued that cosmopolitanism and nationalism cannot be sharply juxtaposed, but cosmopolitanism is often framed through the national.