Stories about COVID-19 and the United States attracted the most eyes in 2020 — a year of substantial growth in News Decoder’s worldwide traffic.

2020, News Decoder, stories

A man walks past a boarded-up store with coronavirus-inspired graffiti, New York, 7 May 2020. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Stories about COVID-19 dominated News Decoder readership in 2020, when traffic to our revamped site nearly doubled and our global platform expanded its reach in the developing world.

Four of the six stories that attracted the most views focused on the coronavirus pandemic. One explored U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s leadership traits, and another explained why U.S. troops are stationed around the globe.

While the United States continued to provide the most viewers, we saw strong growth in readership in India, Nigeria and the Philippines — validating our efforts to be a globally-read platform.

News Decoder readers in more than 200 countries in 2020

Together, our nearly 200 posts on issues as varied as free speech in high schools to in vitro babies contained nearly a quarter of a million words — devoured by readers in more than 200 countries.

Below, you can see our six most-read stories of 2020. Four of the articles were written by News Decoder correspondents, one by a journalism fellow at the University of Toronto and one by a student at partner school Friends Seminary in New York. The diversity of authors reflects our mission to bring youth and experience around a single, virtual table.

If you haven’t already checked out these stories, take a minute to do so. And we look forward to having you with us in 2021.

asian flu v. coronavirus

Asian flu v. coronavirus: A different time, similar problem

News Decoder correspondent Harvey Morris survived the Asian flu and remembers the experience vividly. While recognizing that times have changed since 1957, Morris identifies key similarities between that crisis and the coronavirus pandemic that shook the world in 2020.

What kind of global leader will Joe Biden be?

Following the U.S. presidential election, News Decoder correspondent and global leadership consultant Jeremy Solomons posed two key questions: What makes a global leader? And does President-elect Joe Biden have what it takes to lead on the world stage?

long distance dating COVID-19

Long-distance dating in the time of COVID-19

Recognizing that COVID-19 has made long-distance dating the new norm for many young couples, former University of Toronto journalism fellow Josephine Wong interviewed experts to gather tips for making relationships work in the time of the coronavirus.

Decoder: Why are U.S. troops all over the world?

The United States has some 200,000 troops scattered around the world, testimony to Washington’s persistent international commitment despite deep-seated isolationist impulses. In this decoder, News Decoder correspondent Ben Barber explains why.

COVID-19 elderly

COVID-19: How much is it worth to save the elderly?

COVID-19 is squeezing the economy as nations impose lockdowns. Some are asking: Is the financial pain worth saving the elderly? News Decoder correspondent Sarah Edmonds’s article captures a range of perspectives on this controversial question.

Will COVID-19 worsen inequality in New York City?

Many wealthy New York City residents can ride out the coronavirus in second homes. But needier citizens face a very different reality. Friends Seminary student Charles Gorrivan explores how COVID-19 is exacerbating inequality in America’s most populous city.

COVID-19 inequality New York City
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Lauren Heuser is News Decoder’s Chief Strategy Officer. Previously she worked as a deputy editor and columnist at a national Canadian newspaper and before that as a corporate lawyer at an international law firm. Heuser has a master of business administration from INSEAD and a law degree from the University of Toronto.

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Joe Biden Our most popular stories in 2020 — a year of growth