Our Top Global Stories Of 2020 Not About The Pandemic

Dec 29, 2020
Originally published on December 29, 2020 10:39 am

It seemed like there was only one global health story this year: the pandemic.

But that wasn't the only topic that grabbed our audience's attention. According to NPR's data on page views, readers were attracted to all kinds of Goats and Soda stories in 2020.

The mix of content might surprise you. A 2019 story about how to teach kids to control their anger made a huge comeback. Readers loved our commentary on the Netflix reality show Indian Matchmaking — and an explainer on locusts. And photos of our beautiful planet made a big impression.

Here's a list of the most popular stories on our blog in 2020, based on page views, that were not about the pandemic.

How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger

The Inuit culture has developed a sophisticated way to sculpt kids' behavior without yelling or scolding. Could discipline actually be playful? Read the story here.

Inuit parenting is gentle and tender. They even have a special kiss for kids called kunik. (Above) Maata Jaw gives her daughter the nose-to-cheek Inuit sniff.
Johan Hallberg-Campbell for NPR

Locusts Are A Plague Of Biblical Scope In 2020. Why? And ... What Are They Exactly?

They're swarming in gargantuan numbers in parts of Africa and South Asia — and posing a major threat to the food supply. If you have questions about these insects, we have answers. Read the story here.

A swarm of desert locusts flies above trees in a Kenyan village. Hundreds of millions of the insects have arrived in Kenya, where they're destroying farmland.
Ben Curtis / AP

Opinion: We Are Africans. Here's Our View Of Beyoncé's 'Black Is King'

Esther Ngumbi, a professor from Kenya, and Ifeanyi Nsofor, a doctor in Nigeria, react to the megastar's movie-length music video — and to criticism of Beyoncé creation from other Africans. Read the story here.

Beyoncé puts a conversation about Africa on the front line with her visual album Black Is King, which premiered on Disney+.
Parkwood Entertainment/Disney + via AP

Netflix's 'Indian Matchmaking' Is The Talk Of India — And Not In A Good Way

The TV series, which debuted on the streaming service, has sparked debates about colorism, classism and casteism. Read the story here.

Is it a match? A potential couple meet up courtesy of a matchmaker in the Netflix series Indian Matchmaking.

A Flying Photographer Looks Down On Earth In Awe And Sorrow

In his new book, The Human Planet: Earth at the Dawn of the Anthropocene, George Steinmetz offers a bird's-eye view of the mark humans have made on the global landscape. Read the story here.

A barefoot porter totes a load for an expedition visiting one of the remaining glaciers near the equator, 16,000 feet high on the highest peak in Papua, Indonesia.
George Steinmetz

If You Shouldn't Call It The Third World, What Should You Call It?

There are many ways to refer to the parts of our planet where people lack decent health care, education, and services like electricity and clean water. And just about every label has its problems. This story was first posted in 2015 but is still timely in 2020. Read the story here.

The question of what to call "the developing world" has been up for debate.
Jing Wei for NPR

Good News Story: Nigerian Irish Teen Girls Win Prize For Dementia App

They faced bias against women in science. They faced racism because their families come from Africa. And they triumphed in a competition to develop a problem-solving app! Read the story here.

Wait until you see their victory dance (check out the tweet at the end of this post). Evelyn Nomayo (left) was the mentor for the team that created the award-winning Memory Haven app: (left to right) Rachael Akano, Margarent Akano and Joy Njekwe.
Memory Haven For NPR

The Secret To Success? Having A Big Sister

A new study from Kenya compared young children who have an older sister as compared to an older brother. Big sisters the world over won't be surprised at the findings. Read the story here.

Need A Reminder Of How Gorgeous Earth Is? Peep These Photo Award Winners

Awash in color, texture and movement, the winners of the Siena International Photo Awards showcase images of beauty, culture and nature across the globe. Read the story here.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Children play on the street in a village outside of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Xuebiao Yang