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.

Superfoods / The purple rice helping Thai farmers overcome poverty

By: Cristyn Lloyd - Posted on: April 25, 2018 | Best of 2018

Siam Organic is helping to tackle Thai poverty while also jumping on the superfood bandwagon with a new breed of richly coloured rice that it claims is the healthiest in the world

The Siam Organic team pose in a rice field with local farmers

Siam Organic claims to have created the world’s healthiest rice. The Thai social enterprise hopes that its unassuming, dark purple grain known as Jasberry rice can take the Southeast Asian staple to new heights. With its soft consistency and delicious taste, both of which belie its 100% wholegrain roots, Jasberry rice is also helping to transform the lives of small-scale farmers across Thailand’s countryside, according to the organisation.

“Our [Thai] farmers are among the lowest-earning in the world, even below Vietnam [or] Burma, which is an amazing kind of statistic,” says Siam Organic co-founder Neil Dejkraisak. “The idea was very simple. We had two missions for the company: one was to alleviate the problems of small-scale farmers’ poverty and the second was to create healthy and delicious organic products for the global consumer.”

The high costs of production and low yields in Thailand are the result of a lack of government educational initiatives, which has led to farming malpractices and the heavy-handed influence of major food conglomerates, according to Dejkraisak. With dependence on chemicals damaging soil over time, productivity has remained low.

Siam Organic co-founder Neil Dejkraisak shows off purple Jasberry rice grains

The organisation started out working with 25 farmers in 2011, but that number has now shot up to 1,800, with the expectation of reaching 2,500 next year. After helping farmers switch to organic farming and their new breed of rice, Siam Organic says its farmers’ income has skyrocketed to an average of 14 times higher than a regular farmer, with an added yield of about 20% compared to jasmine rice, the next-best alternative. And the organisation’s community-based approach means that farmers can retain ownership of their land. “We basically manage the entire value chain without actually owning anything apart from the trademark of the product,” says Dejkraisak.

Produced through natural crossbreeding with the help of rice scientists, Jasberry rice’s high level of antioxidants, measured through the Orac value, sets it apart from other varieties. “Jasberry rice has [an Orac value of] about 13,000, which is about three times higher than blueberries, which is already considered a very high antioxidant food in itself,” says Dejkraisak. “To put it in perspective, brown rice would have an Orac value of maybe 800.”

With big ambitions to partner with major international food outlets and see their product reach as far as the US, the team are still wary that while Western consumers may be willing to pay a higher price for their product, they still need to promote the social value of the project to retailers. “As we grow bigger we have to find a way to bring the costs down without affecting the farmers,” says Dejkraisak. “The big supermarkets of the world, they don’t care… What we’re hoping will change a lot over the next couple of years is the mentality of doing business.”

This article was published in the April edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.

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