The Asia-Pacific has changed noticeably since 2002, when the first issue of The Diplomat launched. So has the media industry generally, and the landscape for media freedom across the region. The Diplomat itself has evolved too, from a print magazine to a website, and then the addition, in December 2014, of a digital magazine.
In the following interview, Managing Editor Catherine Putz poses several questions to Publisher James Pach about The Diplomat’s past, present, and future, and how covering Asia has and will continue to evolve into the future.
The Diplomat was originally founded in 2001, with its first print issue published in 2002. In the two decades since, much has changed – for the magazine itself, the media industry, and in the regions we cover. What initially drew you to The Diplomat?
I had the opportunity to meet the then-owners of The Diplomat in 2006. Their original aim was to make The Diplomat a foreign affairs magazine for Australia, and as an Australian who had always had a strong non-expert interest in foreign affairs, I was very drawn to what they were trying to achieve.
Ultimately, the market was never going to be there for a dedicated Australian foreign policy publication, especially with the general downturn in print media. However, after I took over, which was around the time of the demise of the esteemed Far Eastern Economic Review, I felt that there was scope for a digital publication focused on Asia and the Pacific, and found the idea of that challenge very appealing.