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

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To understand more about why you are so important to our member support 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.

Indonesia’s retreat on Australia row reveals rift with armed forces

By: Euan Black - Posted on: January 5, 2017 | Current Affairs

General Gatot Nurmantyo’s short-lived suspension of military operations with Australia may have been part of a power play against President Joko Widodo

A picture made available on 05 January 2017 shows Indonesian military personnel shouting slogans during a drill in Jakarta, Indonesia
A picture made available on 05 January 2017 shows Indonesian military personnel shouting slogans during a drill in Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: EPA/Mast Irham

Indonesia’s reversal of its abrupt and short-lived suspension of military operations with Australia – suspected to be an attempt by the army chief General Gatot Nurmantyo to increase his influence in domestic politics – has revealed a stark disconnect between the ambitions of the armed forces and the authority of the central government.

According to Tom Power, an Indonesian political researcher at the Australian National University, Nurmantyo’s seemingly unilateral action was just the latest example of the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) flexing its muscle for the Indonesian public.

“This posturing has been for the benefit of domestic audiences,” he said, speaking before the backdown over the suspension was announced this afternoon. “Nurmantyo is widely seen as having designs on the presidency, and his tenure has been characterised by promoting the military as an essential bastion against a variety of threats to national security and social stability. His relationship with Jokowi [President Joko Widodo] is also believed to be strained.”

The initial suspension was announced yesterday following a complaint lodged in November by an Indonesian Special Forces commander who took offence to educational materials found at an Australian Special Forces base in Perth. The complaint claimed the materials, apparently part of the training programme’s curriculum, promoted independence for the Indonesian province of West Papua and disrespected Indonesia’s founding values, or Pancasila.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that on 23 and 24 November 2016, Australian Defence Force (ADF) Air Chief Marshal Mark Binsin personally wrote to General Nurmantyo to explain that the materials did not reflect the official stance of the ADF.

But Binsin’s reassurances seemingly failed to placate the TNI chief, who sent a cable on 29 December 2016 demanding all military cooperation with the ADF cease immediately.

The announcement took both Jakarta and Canberra by surprise, and Indonesia’s defence minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has since claimed that the decision amounted to an act of low-ranking subordination and “was all the doings of some lieutenants”.

Historically, the relationship between the two countries has been poor. Australia was instrumental in securing Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia in 2002 and, as a result, the TNI is particularly sensitive to the idea of Australian interference in West Papua.

The 2002 bombing of two nightclubs in Bali, which killed 202 people including 88 Australians, served as a catalyst for the renewal of joint military operations between the two countries.

Bilateral security relations were further strengthened by the signing of the Lombok Treaty in 2006, which committed both countries to cooperation on a broad range of security issues ranging from defence to counterterrorism and intelligence-sharing.

But the relationship was dealt a significant blow in 2013 when information leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that Australian spy agencies had attempted to listen in on the personal phone calls of then-president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife. The revelations provoked Indonesia to put a stop to military operations.

Attempts to rebuild the relationship suffered a further setback in 2015 when two Australian citizens convicted of smuggling heroin were executed following drawn-out diplomatic negotiations and a decade-long legal campaign to pardon the duo.

Howard Dick, a professor at the University of Melbourne who has carried out extensive research on Indonesian politics, said that relations had definitely improved since 2013, with “both foreign ministers working well together and good progress being made on the business front”.

While both governments have said that the temporary suspension will not have any lasting impact on the bilateral relationship, Dick said that this would depend on the reasons behind the move.

“At first sight, it looks like a huge overreaction,” he said. “But there are more questions than answers for now. Were the Indonesians frustrated at the lack of response [to the original complaint]? Does it connect with the Ahok trial? Is the message being sent to the domestic constituency or to Australia? Is there a China factor? Whether it has longer term implications depends on what is behind it.”