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This question was closed because according to some:

Questions asking for the internal motivations of people, how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations or predictions for future events are off-topic when in fact the question is specific to an observable or measurable act, Qatar paying journalists and think tanks.

And/or

This question does not appear to be about governments, policies and political processes within the scope defined in the help center when the question is specific to a policy of Qatar's government to pay for positive press, or at least pay to ensure no negative stories are circulated.

The question was then answered accurately.

If you are among the 5 that closed, can you elaborate on why you did so? Not making much sense, at least to me.

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    FWIW I think it's a good question, I just cast the last reopen vote necessary so the question is no longer closed. – Jeff Lambert Oct 23 at 17:52
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If you are among the 5 that closed, can you elaborate on why you did so? Not making much sense, at least to me.

If I recall correctly, I voted to close for the following reason:

Questions asking for the internal motivations of people, how specific individuals would behave in hypothetical situations or predictions for future events are off-topic, because answers would be based on speculation and their correctness could not be verified with sources available to the public.


I'll happily elaborate my reasoning.

Firstly, the question wasn't about Qatari policy, the question was stated as follows:

Is there a good or definitive listing of press that has taken Qatari money?

So it's a resource request. Such requests are fine by me, if there's an outlook of actually getting such a list. It's likely that this resource exists, but not publicly, most likely only the ones doing the paying (i.e. the government of that state) know who they pay.

Secondly, at the time of voting to close I was aware of Fizz's answer. That answer looked like this at the time. My judgement at the time is the same as it is now, the answer barely touches on the question. The first line of the answer talks about Qatari PR contributions. It's a link-only answer that talks about $5 million dollar which I don't that comes close to a definitive listing of press that has taken Qatari money. The rest of the answer talks about other countries and FARA (which is a US law, your question is not limited to the US).

In conclusion, while the question is not mean spirited and the answer is well-meaning, I think this type of resource request is too speculative with no sufficient sources available publicly. It invites tangentially related answers which only barely touch on the subject matter. That is why I cast a vote to close.

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    Some questions will be unanswerable with current knowledge. But the NYTs article is one source, and there may be others. That is what investigative reporters do. I think, not in your instance but certainly in others, if someone doesn't know some thing, they assume it's unknowable. This happens often here and is abused in my estimation. But I don't think it's a reason to close a question. Better information may be had later. And I disagree about Policy. Who Qatar pays is as important as what they paid, or why they paid. – K Dog Oct 23 at 19:14
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    But sincere thanks for the honesty and thoughtful response – K Dog Oct 23 at 19:15
  • @KDog well I can certainly be swayed in keeping the question open, it's not that I'm not interested in the answer (however far we may get). I do think, however, that we should be a little stricter in moderating answers under such resource requests. Fizz's answer isn't wrong, but if everyone adds tangential info the real partial answers get buried. I suggest we only allow on-topic (in your case, regarding Qatar) parts and elaborate on them (i.e. relevant quotes from that link). – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 23 at 19:19
  • @KDog Then, other discussion can be put in a chatbox related to the question (or even in a meta post dedicated to the question e.g. "Discussion on question XYZ"). Please let me know what you think about that. – JJ for Transparency and Monica Oct 23 at 19:19
  • I agree with all of that – K Dog Oct 23 at 19:19
  • I didn't even realize the question was not limited to the US. (K Dog's questions usually are focused on that country). I'd agree the question is a bit broad if all of the West is to be included/surveyed. As for why I mentioned the other countries/examples: I don't know of a blatant example like the Arabia Foundation when it comes to Qatar. I was just trying to show that because Arabia Foundation is (probably) not FARA listed, and we don't have much else besides FARA lists to go with, my answer has substantial limitations in terms of what has been publically listed/summarized. – Fizz Oct 27 at 15:16
  • (Likewise for the AMI issue. Maybe Qatar did buy similar press coverage somewhere, I just don't know it.) Nevertheless, I thought the question deserved a partial answer rather than just outright closure. – Fizz Oct 27 at 15:18

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