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.

The end of cheap labour in Southeast Asia?

By: Logan Connor - Posted on: December 6, 2016 | Society

As the International Labour Organisation kicked off its 16th annual Asia and the Pacific Regional Meeting today, Maurizio Bussi, director of the ILO country office for Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, spoke to Southeast Asia Globe about the challenge of turning the region’s economic growth into social progress

Cambodian garment workers travel home on a truck in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Cambodian garment workers travel home on a truck in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 08 October 2015. Photo: EPA/MAK REMISSA

“We have disparities. We have seen countries growing very fast, or at an accelerated level, in terms of GDP growth and other parameters. But there is a feeling that is persistent, I would say, in most of the countries across the region – that this [growth] has not been associated with social progress. Social progress, essentially, is the quality of jobs and the protection of jobs.

If you want a buzzword, then normally the kind of sentence that I use is ‘protecting the greying and the growing’ – the greying, the ageing societies, and the growing, the sort of young societies that are growing fast, but not in a very balanced way. The greying are obviously the countries, the economies, where a few years ago an investment was made in terms of setting up the economic systems, diversifying the economies and so on. But now is the time to start paying pensions, to start paying unemployment benefits, and so on.

[Look at] the case of Thailand, for example. Thailand made good investments about 25 years ago in setting up systems, giving pensions, giving home insurance. Now people are starting to retire. And [the government] has to start paying pensions.

The second trend that we see is how countries can understand and take policy measures to essentially phase the end of cheap labour. These are economies that, in the last 20 to 30 years, they’ve built their systems and their economic growth, essentially, on cheap labour. They were the workshops of the world –  it was convenient, infrastructure was reasonably okay, the people were abundant in terms of the labour force. They were certainly happy and able to work for long hours. So they produced a lot of stuff, if you like, at a relatively marginal cost.

This trend is reversing a bit, so they are less inclined to do these kinds of jobs. Either because a different trajectory of development, or because machines, they will do that. Or because it becomes not very profitable to do a certain thing a certain way. So how can countries really understand this trajectory, which I call the end of cheap labour?

The third trend, I would say, is economic integration. Economic integration, what it means in terms of labour, obviously there are a number of implications – regulated mobility of people, skill certification, portability of social protection instruments, if you move towards country ‘A’ from country ‘B’, assuming you are recognised in the profession, the trade that you have, do you have the same conditions of work, conditions of employment, do you have the same benefits in terms of house insurance, the basic benefits or pensions. Can you bring them back to your country when you decide to leave? Or are there mechanisms that recognise that in terms of skill accreditation. So ensuring that there’s no discrimination between national workers and people coming from outside. This is what Asean is trying to put together – a labour market that is more integrated where, in principle, people should be able to move from one country to the other.

That’s the third. And the fourth, which is a bit of a crosscutting theme, how do we use this global framework for sustainable development goals to service these three areas of importance in terms of the labour market dynamics? How do you use, as a government, the SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] framework, to ensure that these three areas are well-anchored in terms of the values, principles, normative, the statistical work and the policy work to the SDG framework that all the countries have committed to follow and observe?”