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.

Finding a voice / Using creative writing to inspire conceptual thinking

By: Cristyn Lloyd - Posted on: June 12, 2018 | Cambodia

Writing Through is a Cambodian NGO that’s unlocking the capacity for conceptional thinking through poetry and storytelling in an education system where creativity is not encouraged

A Writing Through student shares her work with the class Photo: Sam Jam

“Sue, I was thinking: Could pain be a bridge?” asks a Cambodian student in one of Sue Guiney’s poetry and storytelling workshops. “We were asking questions [about] what a bridge is,” says Guiney. “I wanted to say, ‘My work here is done.’ Of course it is – it’s all about connections. That was amazing.”

Guiney is a writer who founded Writing Through in Cambodia two and a half years ago, and it has since expanded to Vietnam and Singapore. The program uses poetry and storytelling in an attempt to unlock the capacity for creative, conceptual thinking and break the constraints of an education system based around rote learning.

It is these small lightbulb moments that make the impact of the project speak for itself.

“Writing Through is a workshop that seems on the outside to be about learning English,” says Guiney. “This isn’t even about self-esteem. It’s about how do you think in a new way, how do you teach someone to think – to think conceptually?”

Guiney explains that by holding the workshops in English as opposed to Khmer, the students are forced into a new realm of risk-taking and discomfort needed for that creative spark. “If you’re working in a language that is not your own, in a form that is not your own, you can’t fall back on the tropes of your society,” she says. “And [when] you’re asked to come up with a metaphor that is new, you have to come up with something new. It’s very, very hard.”

At the end of each course, students are expected to stand up on their own and present their work at the final big event, the ultimate test of nerves. “It’s petrifying for them,” she says. “But after they’ve done it, that sense of self-esteem and accomplishment they carry will pertain to everything else they do.”

Sue Guiney, founder of Writing Through

Since its inception, the programme has reached around 1,200 students and amassed over 1,700 poems and stories. Writing Through embeds itself with local NGOs for a week at a time, running the workshops often for children from low-income homes, former street kids or victims of drug abuse or domestic violence.

Last year, the organisation launched the Literacy in Language and Thinking programme in collaboration with Phnom Penh’s University of Puthisastra, an intensive mandatory course for all foundation-level students that Guiney says is the first of its kind in the country.

And while the workshops encourage students to keep a distance between themselves and their work – to write in the third person or to make up characters, for example – some kids need to tell their stories.

“There was this one kid who told a story about his life, and you couldn’t believe that happened,” Guiney says. “[He said], this is my story. I want the world to know that this is what happened to me… We are literally giving people their voice, allowing people to say who they are and what they’re thinking, and saying it in a language that isn’t their own – that’s extraordinary.”