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2018: The Best of The Diplomat

Here are our most read articles of 2018!

Catherine Putz
2018: The Best of The Diplomat
Credit: Roven Images on Unsplash

Read The Diplomat. Know the Asia-Pacific. From the headline stories — trade wars, fighter jets and monumental elections — to the deep dives and hidden gems which we do best, The Diplomat’s team has sought to capture, chronicle and comment on the movement of life, politics and security across Asia.

Ankit Panda and Dave Schmerler’s January bombshell on a North Korean missile accidentally hitting a North Korean city in April 2017 (whoops!) takes the overall top spot for most-read piece in 2018 by an immense margin — a margin so large it is actually the single most-read piece on our site in the last five years.

There are several ways to compile a list of top articles. Last year, I composed the list by sheer traffic, but this inevitably gives greater weight to articles published earlier in the year. For 2018, I composed the list by selecting the top two articles in each month, but this method also has a built-in bias: articles published late in a given month have less time to rack up pageviews.

The list below is dominated by security-related topics: F35s, aircraft carriers and the machinations of conflict, but it also features a May piece by Mehmet Tohti on the plight of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Kerry Brown pondering the consequences of Chinese overreach, and Krzysztof Iwanek on the issue of women’s entry to temples in India.

The Diplomat’s Top 24 Articles Published in 2018

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In the interest of fairness, I’ll highlight a few more articles from this year that got booted from the list above because the way I went about compiling it but help represent the breadth of what we covered in 2018. Franz J. Marty’s defense of living in Kabul only just missed the second spot for January. Similarly, Peter Maguire’s April 30 feature on marijuana in Thailand got squeezed out by a small margin, as did Erin Cook’s March 29 piece on legalizing divorce in the Philippines.

What was your favorite article at The Diplomat in 2018?

Happy New Year and best wishes to our authors and readers. We can’t do this without you and look forward to covering 2019!