The Globe as you know it is changing.
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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.

Cambodia’s decision to nix military exercises with US leaves many scratching their heads

By: Logan Connor - Posted on: January 19, 2017 | Cambodia

Defence ministry officials have cited the country’s current ‘war on drugs’ and its upcoming commune elections as reasons for diverting resources from the annual Angkor Sentinel exercises

Cambodian soldiers (R), stand with US soldiers (L), during the opening ceremony of a multi-national peacekeeping exercise in Kampong Speu province, Cambodia
Cambodian soldiers (R), stand with US soldiers (L), during the opening ceremony of a multi-national peacekeeping exercise in Kampong Speu province, Cambodia, 17 July 2010. Photo: EPA/MAK REMISSA

Earlier this week, Cambodia informed the US it would postpone their annual joint military exercises for the next two years, leading to speculation that the Southeast Asian country was putting more of its stock in regional hegemon China.

Cambodian Ministry of National Defence spokesman Chhum Socheath said the Angkor Sentinel exercises would be cancelled in order to allocate troops and resources toward the country’s six-month ‘war on drugs’ and its upcoming commune elections.

“We postponed because we are busy with a six-month national anti-drug campaign. So our forces must go to join with the National Police in order to crack down against drug crime around the country,” Socheath told The Cambodia Daily.

“Second, it’s involved with next commune election that will be held on June 4. So we need to collect the forces to protect the good security and public order for the people,” Socheath added.

The announcement comes just weeks after Cambodia held its biggest-ever joint military exercises with China, and months after Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Cambodia in October, signing 31 agreements, including $89m in debt forgiveness, $238m in soft loans and $15m in military aid.

And while Phnom Penh has staunchly denied that cancelling the exercises indicates a realignment toward China, some analysts are not so sure.

“Obviously, this is what they would say, but actions speak louder than words,” said Sophal Ear, professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College, Los Angeles, and author of The Hungry Dragon: How China’s Resource Quest Is Reshaping the World.

“Given that we’re in our eighth year of Angkor Sentinel, this seems odd,” he added. “But the Kingdom of Wonder is never want of mysteries.”

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen often lambasts the US for its critique of corruption, political oppression and human rights abuses in Cambodia. But as the US prepares to swear in Donald Trump as its 45th president on Friday, a man who has advocated for a more isolationist approach to US foreign affairs, Cambodia’s ruling party could see Washington’s role as a watchdog in Southeast Asia diminish.

“There are some benefits, possibly, to the new administration in the US for Hun Sen – the administration is likely to be less critical of Hun Sen on human rights issues,” said Joshua Kurlantzick, a senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations.

“So, I am not sure why the Hun Sen government would go now for a realignment, rather than waiting and seeing how things turn out in the new US-Cambodia relationship after January.”

Still, Phnom Penh’s declaration that it would divert military resources to domestic issues raises other questions, namely its militarisation of matters related to public health and the democratic process.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who is waging his own deadly war on drugs that has left more than 6,000 dead in his country, made a state visit to Cambodia in December. Since then, Cambodia has kicked off its own campaign, resulting in hundreds of arrests.

In the run-up to Cambodia’s commune elections in June and general elections in 2018, this could easily be seen as an attempt to win votes through ‘tough’ governance.

“Launching a war on drugs is what [former US president Richard] Nixon did in the 1970s,” Occidental College’s Ear said. “You have to find a boogeyman to get people scared and voting for you.”