Despite a rich body of literature on politicisation, knowledge of this process and its driving forces remains limited. Specifically, little empirical analysis has been carried out to assess the impact of focusing events on politicisation within global and seemingly technical venues of policy-making. Building on existing studies, I conceptualise politicisation as a combination of three things: (1) issue salience, (2) actor expansion and (3) actor diversity. I test the impact of focusing events on the politicisation of one of the most pressing global policy issues of our age: internet regulation, specifically regarding global data protection and internet privacy rules. I use a systematic analysis of news media coverage over a 20-year period, resulting in an original dataset of 2,100 news articles. Controlling for different factors, my findings reveal that focusing events do contribute to politicisation in technical venues, in particular regarding the actors involved in debates.