User:MichaelQSchmidt/The general notability guide versus subject-specific notability guidelines
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|This page in a nutshell: This essay seeks to address an ongoing general debate about the efficacy and application of the general notability guideline (GNG) versus subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs) and a seeming contradiction with application of one SNG (NFF) in particular seeming set to overrule policy.|
In discussions about the efficacy and application of general notability guideline (GNG) versus subject-specific notability guidelines (SNGs), some editors feel that if the GNG is met, an SNG need not be met. Others feel that if a SNG is met, then the GNG need not be. Both veiwpoints are valid, but do not mean that if a SNG is failed, then the GNG and policy can then be ignored.
The key to inclusion within Wikipedia is verifiability, and not significant coverage of a topic or its assertions. So long as such can be verified in a reliable sources, such verifiability need not itself be significant coverage.
They do not conflict
The GNG and the various SNGs are intended as mutually-supportive and not mutually-exclusionary... specially as WP:NOTABILITY states "A topic is presumed to merit an article if it meets the general notability guideline... ...and is not excluded under what Wikipedia is not." But that is not the end of considerations, as WP:N also explains that "a topic is also presumed notable if it meets the criteria outlined in a subject-specific guideline listed..." thus indicating that in a failure to immediately meet the GNG, editors are encouraged to look to the SNGs for other considerations, and that the verifiability of meeting an SNG allows a presumption that the topic being discussed is worthy of note, even in the lack of significant coverage, in guideline's understanding that some topics reasonably worthy of note do not always make the headlines, nor have continued coverage.
While related in their requirements that all sources be reliable, the GNG and the SNGs are not the same. Being notable through significant coverage is a determination separate from meeting an SNG through verifiability. Meeting an SNG does not demand signficant coverage... only verifiability. And a reliable source used to verify a fact or assertion does not itself have to be significant coverage, as the sourcing standards require verifiability of assertions, not significant coverage of assertions. We have two different and sometimes confused concepts: The required SNG verifiability does not itself have to be SIGCOV, but and per policy, the verifiability must be found in RS suitable for the topic being discussed.
Intent and application: GNG versus WP:NFF
Main topic: WP:Planned Films
WP:NFF was set in place to prevent Wikipedia being flooded by articles on minor unmade films... planned projects lacking coverage or notability... and, as a governor set to limit run-away crap article creation, it serves a valuable purpose.
But it is an error to always read this one singular subpart of WP:NF as SNG as set to disallow any and all consideration of future film topics being discussed, for POLICY itself allows such discussion when it states that "articles about anticipated events must be verifiable, and the subject matter must be of sufficiently wide interest that it would merit an article if the event had already occurred. It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, if discussion is properly referenced" as long as editors do not offer their own opinions or analyses, and (as in the case of films) editors take special care to avoid advertising and unverified claims.
Worth repeating, NFF was set up as part of the SNG WP:NF to address articles on future film topics that lack verifiability or the sufficiently wide interest to merit consideration for inclusion.... but, and as the GNG itself states, "If a topic has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to satisfy the inclusion criteria for a stand-alone article or stand-alone list", it can be seen that through the very policy and guideline set for measuring inclusion, this could then include certain highly covered future film projects whose enduring and in-depth coverage in multiple reliable sources allows consideration of a stand-alone article.
While there will be properly be discussions on just how to write an article on a future film... first and foremost, the topic must be demonstrable as surpassing the inclusion criteria set by both policy and guideline. In a constantly changing encyclopedia, and as events progress, any article and its contents can and will change to meet that changing progress... and THAT is always well worth discussion.