The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
  • Independent, free and member-supported
  • Vote for, pitch and commission stories
  • Member engagement with our journalists

To understand more about why you are so important to our member-supported initiative, we encourage you to read the following from our managing editor ~ Read more

The Globe as you know it is changing.

Since 2007, Southeast Asia Globe has been a space for some of the region’s best writers and photographers to take our readers behind the headlines into the stories that shape people’s lives. Every month, you could expect to pick up our latest print edition and find high-quality journalism, analysis and artwork waiting on every page. And since 2007, we’ve fought to uphold our promise of quality and independence to you, our readers.

But, like we said, the world is changing. Print publications just aren’t reaching the audiences they need to fulfil their promise of informing, educating and entertaining the public. Advertisers continue to invest in digital platforms while printing costs creep ever higher. Print may not be dead, but it’s fighting for its life. And we’re tired of waiting by a sickbed for its condition to improve. We want to be present at the birth of something new.

That’s why Southeast Asia Globe is relaunching as a member-driven platform featuring daily long-form features combining world-class journalism with enthralling art design and data-centered tech. Through our core pillars – Power, Money, Life and Earth – we are focusing in on the central issues that our readers have always engaged with most, with the same in-depth coverage of politics, business, social affairs and the environment that you’ve come to expect since 2007.

But leaving print behind us doesn’t just save our backs from lugging stacks of magazines across Southeast Asia. It opens up a global readership who don’t just want to read the news, but have a say in the stories that we tell and the way that we tell them. We’re not asking you to take out another magazine subscription – our stories are open to all. What we’re offering our members is a space where they can pitch and vote on the stories that they think deserve to be told. We want to inspire an engaged and active community of members who vote for, comment on and contribute to the stories that matter most to them. We want to work with our members to curate the way they engage with the news – not just as readers, but as an active extension of our editorial team.

That’s how we’re changing to bring you great stories. Here’s how we’re not.

We’re independent. Always have been, always will be. We’re not owned by any corporation or aligned with any state. We choose the stories that we tell, and the way that we tell them.

We’re creative. We’re not interested in churning out breaking news stories on the hour, every hour. We believe that the best stories are the ones that come alive on the page, digging deeper into the issues that shape Southeast Asia – and bringing you along for the ride. From our dedicated designers to our new software development team, our commitment is to constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways of reaching out to our readers.

We’re open. Challenging governments, NGOs and businesses to be transparent with the public means nothing if we keep our own readers in the dark. That’s why we will be completely open about why we tell the stories that we tell – and how we pay for them. Work with us to build something that endures where many media fail, and decide with us exactly where that money is going.

Above all, we’re optimistic. And yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Faced with impending climate collapse, the rise of right-wing authoritarian governments across the world, widening wealth and income inequality and deepening divisions rooted in race or gender or creed, it’s hard not to open the papers and feel the weight of the world pressing down. But we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t believe that when people work together, they can make their little corner of the world a more just, open and equal place.

And that’s why we can’t do this without you. We believe that across the globe is a community of people who care deeply about social justice, environmental action and press freedom – and who will join in to help make those ideals a reality. We’re not just holding our hand out – we need your voice to play a vital role in building Southeast Asia Globe into a leading space for progressive causes in the region. Tell us what stories the mainstream media is missing. Share with us the causes that matter most to you, and how we can champion those causes not just across Southeast Asia, but the world.

Our vision is clear. By 2025, we want to be recognised for building a great space for outstanding journalists from across the region to explore new ways of telling Southeast Asia’s most vital stories. Let’s bring together a community of engaged and loyal members who want to help reshape the media rather than just read it. And we want to reach a point where our readers, not advertisers, are the ones working to support our shared vision of an inclusive media.

We can’t do this without you. Let’s get together and build something that we all believe in.

If you’re interested in joining us, sign up to our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter. And watch this space.

A long, loud silence

By: Daniel Otis - Posted on: June 2, 2013 | Business

By Daniel Otis

Myanmar’s voice of democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been decidedly silent about human rights abuses since winning a seat in parliament last year.  She was criticised in March for backing the expansion of a Chinese-financed copper mine that would lead to the forced eviction of 50 families. Earlier, when asked if the Rohingya are citizens of Myanmar, she reluctantly replied that she did not know and that the issue should be decided by the law. “I want to work toward reconciliation between these two communities,” the Nobel laureate was quoted as saying in November. “I am not going to be able to do that if I take sides.” In such an imbalanced conflict, however, silence can be incredibly partisan.

A long, loud silence
Photo: Daniel Otis
A hard rain: many Rohingya IDP camps have been built atop dry rice paddies. They are at serious risk of being flooded.


In a recent interview, former political prisoner and National League for Democracy MP Phyo Min Thein was more frank about the topic. “History doesn’t lie,” he told Southeast Asia Globe, “and historically, there is no such thing as ‘Rohingya’. These people are from Bangladesh. Citizenship for them is possible [if they are eligible under the law], but being defined as a distinct ethnic group is not.”

After years of being persecuted and standing up for Myanmar’s disenfranchised, the NLD, it seems, is finally playing politics by courting the ruling party, the military and Myanmar’s increasingly Islamophobic majority.

Myanmar’s government, on the other hand, has several things to gain from the violence in Rakhine state. It can ensure a continued military presence in the strategically vital region (a new deep water port and an oil pipeline to China are being built in the resource-rich state), and it has been given, if necessary, a handy excuse to slow the pace of democratic reform. With the 2015 election in mind, it could also be seeking to garner support from the Arakanese – or at the very least, ensure the subservience of the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP). By supporting the Rohingya –who voted overwhelmingly for the ruling party in the widely-condemned 2010 election – despite not having citizenship papers – they would gain nothing but an angry electorate, and perhaps an Arakanese insurgency.

Atrocities that would have sparked global condemnation five years ago are now going mostly unheeded. With sanctions being lifted and barriers to trade being removed, it seems that Western democracies wouldn’t want to jeopardise business for something as trivial as human rights.



Also view

“Exiled to nowhere” – Recent sectarian violence has brought renewed attention to the Rohingya. Brutal oppression is nothing new to this Muslim ethnic group, many of whom have chosen to endure a hellish existence in hostile Bangladesh rather than return to their native Myanmar

“Etched in time: Chin women” – Their faces marked with intricate tattoos, an older generation of Chin women embody a dying art of ritual in one of the country’s most isolated and persecuted states. Photographer Brent Lewin captures their story

“Gimme shelter” – As a new Myanmar emerges, the battle rages on for the inhabitants of Kachin, its northernmost state. Thousands of civilians have been displaced and ethnic troops have taken up arms once more to defend their homeland from government forces. Photographer Narciso Contreras captures their story

“War on Myanmar’s women” – With the constitution relegating women to second-class citizens and the national army increasingly employing sexualised violence as a weapon of subjugation, Myanmar is still very much a military man’s world

“A failed state?” – How Myanmar can position itself to join the ranks of successful nations