This question arose from the following question on main:

It appears to be an interesting question that will definitely help learners to practise their reading skills in the German language. The question is well received by the community and already has some also well received answers.

Nevertheless answers and comments show that there is an issue with this question (or any other similar question). We do not really know what or to what extent "preeminent" or "reputable" was meant to be. It feels very much like a "what is the best..." opinion based question that generally would not survive for long on any StackExchange site.

Surprisingly the community did not cast any close votes or downvotes here. On the contrary: people upvote and show they liked this question. This makes me believe that sometimes even opinion based question asking for big list answers can be accepted if they meet certain prerequisites.

To guide the community for future similar questions I feel we need to clarify these prerequisites here. What was different with the above question?

  • Die User sind oft stimmungsgeleitet und bewerten Fragen hoch, auf die sie gerne antworten. Dabei scheren sie sich oft wenig um die Frage, wie gut eine Frage den Regeln entspricht und ins Seitenkonzept passt. Schwachen Usern durch Regeländerungen entgegenzukommen ist selbst eine Schwäche, getrieben offenbar von der Freude am Fetisch hoher Zugriffszahlen. Katzenbilder, wir brauchen mehr Katzenbilder! Sep 18, 2017 at 8:05
  • @userunknown: es geht mir weniger um eine Regeländerung als um Richtlinien, was die (Community-)Moderation betrifft - oder anders ausgedrückt: warum habt Ihr denn ausgerechnet diese Frage nicht geschlossen?
    – Takkat
    Sep 18, 2017 at 9:05
  • Erst habe ich die Frage nicht gelesen. Zweitens kann ich eine Frage nicht schließen. Wenn Du nicht alleine entscheiden willst, wieso regst Du nicht unter der Frage an, sie zu schließen? Sep 19, 2017 at 9:29
  • @userunknown habe ich ja: "Preeminence" is quite opinion based.
    – Takkat
    Sep 19, 2017 at 9:45
  • 1
    I'm voting to close this question because the issue is resolved. The borderline question mentioned here is put on hold.
    – Takkat
    Sep 19, 2017 at 9:49

1 Answer 1


The question you are referring to asks about the ‘preeminent’ newspapers and then goes to list what OP considers to be these in the US. There is only a very small set of newspapers, both daily and weekly, that are available nationwide (maybe even across the entire dialect continuum — but since OP didn’t include British newspapers, I suspect they meant a Germany-centred question). This means that the question is indeed not a ‘big list’ question but actually one that asks for a very small and short list that can easily be given in a single answer. I think that most Germans can instantly agree on a list of newspapers they consider very important and not merely regional.

On the other hand, consider the questions linked in this other meta-question. Both lists will be inherently incomplete and at least the second also inherently opinion-based (what makes an etymology ‘interesting’?). There will be no point in time when everybody looks at the answer to either question and agrees ‘yes, this is finished.’

Summing this up, for a list question to be acceptable it must:

  • provide a clear and concise definition of what is asked for. This definition must not be subject to significant ambiguity.
  • be answerable in a single reasonable answer. This also implies that it should be possible for a non-expert to know about all significant list entries.
  • be verifiable. A list of newspapers that appear Germany-wide can be compiled and backed with references, meaning that only the significance aspect must still be considered afterwards.
  • be unlikely to change in a given timeframe. Except for the taz, all newspapers on the list date to just after World War II for a reason. New tongue-twisters can turn up all the time.

Maybe I am missing a few bullet points but I feel that this should be a good enough initial guideline.

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