I don't feel strongly about this either way, but are press roundups on-topic?

In the past, Qs about what the press said (or why they said it) were sometimes closed and sometimes weren't. On one of the more negatively received Qs, a comment was:

There are many close reasons that apply here: Lack of focus, as you're asking about "western media" which actually includes hundreds of publications in many different countries, who all have different interests and opinions regarding Huawei and China. Not about political processes, as you are asking about tech journalism (which may have political implications but isn't directly political). And finally promoting a specific cause, as you don't seem to be interested in why "western media" might not cover the launch and instead seem to want to argue that it's because of "sour grapes".

(There was also debate in comments there whether the topic was political. One moderator said "There is nothing political about a new phone being released." OTOH another comment was "This phone which negates U.S. sanctions and introduced while the American Labor Secretary was visiting China is all about Politics." And the OP linked to some White House coverage of the [phone] event, albeit that was in response to questions from the press [corps].)

OTOH, a Q asking about the Arab press coverage of the Hamas attacks was generally well-received (although it had at least one close vote), as were some others of the 'why' variety (about al-Jazeera coverage in English on LGBT).

I also recall getting some close votes on a Q of my own (asking to compare Fox News coverage with that of more 'liberal media' on the Gaza war), but ultimately it wasn't closed. There's also a more recent repeat of the Arab media Q [on a diff topic] that has 3 pending close votes right now. (Update: FWTW, it's closed now, despite having +10/-5 score.)

So, is asking for a summary of what the press in a part of the world (or in one country) said on-topic?

Yeah, the degree of government control over the press varies [with the country, and sometimes with the topic]. So it's sometimes a reflection of the gov't position, but of course one can inquire about that directly.

OTOH, one might argue that asking about what the press wrote is a reasonable substitute for asking about polls of the public opinion, at least among some 'elites', when no such polls can be expected to exists.

Or interesting in its own right as the '4th power'.

Your thoughts on this?

2 Answers 2


Here are my two cents:

How did Arab media report the events of the Hamas attack on Israel?

Arab media reaction to Iranian attack

There are half a billion Arabs in the world so the question is much too board. Any answer will suffer from sampling bias; whatever dozen sources or so used to answer the question will not be a fair representative of all Arab media. Moreover, the racist undertones of the question are not very subtle. Had the question been about Jewish media it wouldn't have stayed up for long.

Has any of the top US media/press criticized the US president Mr. Trump for recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli lands?

Has Fox News shown any footage from inside Gaza, esp. from a civilian perspective?

These questions are different and better because they can be answered in the affirmative quite easily. One would have to do a little more work to write a "No" answer, but it seems possible in principle.

Why there is little report about Huawei's launch of Mate 60 Pro phone?

Even assuming the question's claim is true (I don't know), to answer the question one has to speculate about media's purported motives to choose to not write about the new phone. And there is probably no relevant sources to rely on. I don't think any journalists have investigated why the phone hasn't shown up in English-language media.

Is there a political basis to the ways press in different countries report olympic medal tallies?

I'm almost sure I have read about that phenomena before; that countries report medals according to whatever criteria makes them look the best. Since it is a result of jingoism, which is a political issue, it arguably belongs on the site. But an argument could be made either way.

So, yes, in my opinion, press round-up questions are on-topic as long as they are focused, can be answered objectively, and well-referenced answers can be written for them.

  • The problem is that what a private news organization covers or doesn't cover isn't a question about politics or governments.
    – Joe W
    Commented Apr 19 at 21:01
  • That's a good point which I didn't consider. However it is often assumed that private media companies have political leanings. Commented May 6 at 15:27
  • Having political leanings isn’t enough to make something on topic.
    – Joe W
    Commented May 6 at 15:34

Most of the users of this community are English speakers, and quite a few are not proficient in any other language. The question quoted in the OP, concerning the Arab press coverage of the Hamas attacks, was clearly asking for information from sources in Arabic. Likewise, a similar question about Russian media would probably ask for something other than the reports from Russia Today.

Regional focus
Also, for various reasons people may follow mostly the media in their country/region, but not all the world media - the case at point are the opinions about Israel/Palestine, which many seem to base on what is reported in "western media", even though most Israeli and many major Arab media outlets are available in English or have an English version (just like many western media are available in other languages.)

Some users seem to treat western media as a benchmark of honest/unbiased reporting, which justifies their neglect of other sources. This is only partially true: indeed, western media are free from censorship, they often value their reputation, and publishing a groundbreaking investigative report is a boon for the journal/channel and for the journalist. On the other hand, even western media are often hostages to the source of funding (government, private owners, or ad-space purchases), they cater to their audience - right/left-wing or generally western, which is unlikely to welcome any reports that put in question their politicians or good morals.

It is also harder to make an argument that "western media" are superior to democratic media elsewhere - e.g. in Israel or... in Switzerland (where coverage may significantly differ from that in the US-allied world.) Indeed, the very uniformity of the reporting in "western media" is troubling - the dissenting opinions are usually voiced by marginal groups, which are already discredited by their stance on other issues (mostly extreme-right/left.)

Aside: mainstream media coverage is also superficial, simplifying complex issues for laymen... while this community aims at deeper understanding of the issues.

  • 3
    So, in summary, it's fine to ask for summaries [only?] if they don't exist in English media? This answer spends about half taking pot-shots at Western media, but I don't really see a [scope] conclusion here. Commented Apr 15 at 10:28

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