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.

Talent spotter

By: David Hutt - Posted on: December 7, 2015 | Business

The world’s largest photo agency, Getty Images, is shifting focus in the region. Local photographers are the future, according to Kumiko Shimamoto, the company’s vice-president in Asia

Just last month, one of the founders of the world’s largest photo agency stepped aside. Jonathan Klein co-founded Getty Images with Mark Getty in 1995 and, following years of aggressive acquisitions, he handed over the chief executive role on October 12 with the company in rude health, boasting an archive of more than 80 million photographs and 50,000 hours of stock film from around the world. While the new chief executive, Dawn Airey, will be based in New York, the company’s eye is being increasingly drawn to new opportunities further afield.

Kumiko Shimamoto, getty images
Kumiko Shimamoto studied economics at Kobe University and has a master’s degree in media studies from the University of Manchester. She was global sales director of publicity portal ImageNet in the UK before it was acquired by Getty Images in 2004. Kumiko was then appointed Getty’s senior director of news photography in the UK and Germany, before becoming vice-president of Getty Images Asia.

“In Europe and the US, the industry is pretty saturated, but here in Southeast Asia there are still so many opportunities,” says Kumiko Shimamoto, vice-president of Getty Images Asia for the past six-and-a-half years. It is the region’s economic growth, the expansion of businesses and new startups, along with a rising awareness of how important good photography is, she says, that makes Southeast Asia a dynamic and exciting place to be. 

Since its conception in Seattle, US, the company has used the same licencing policy: customers pay a rate for each photograph or image, which they can use either once or multiple times depending on the agreement, and the photographers or designers receive a certain percentage of the takings. In recent years, Getty Images has sparked controversy for taking legal action against websites and business, both large and small, for using its content improperly.

Although most of those proceedings took part in the West, Shimamoto states that copyright issues remain a problem in Southeast Asia. “There are still some countries in the region where people think its fine to search on Google for images and then use them [without paying],” she explains. “However, as we’re mainly B2B, our clients are usually more educated about and aware of copyrights, as it can impact on their reputation.”

Another issue is that many companies and individuals in Southeast Asia don’t want to pay the big money sometimes required for photos. “However, that will probably change once people start seeing others use high quality content, so we’re at a transition stage,” she adds.

One of the company’s biggest Southeast Asian successes is currently its iStock catalogue. Comprised of crowd-sourced images, this content is thus more affordable than the photo agency’s more exclusive stock, and it is available to purchase as part of a subscription, rather than per image.

iStock also allows Getty to access increasing amounts of local content which, Shimamoto adds, is one of the company’s major goals in the coming years, as it allows them to offer an even greater range of photos to clients. As an example, she says that if a publication requested an image of a Cambodian child in a school, she wouldn’t know if Getty had one in its stock. However, if she was working in the UK, she could be certain that the company had a photograph of a British child in a school. So the more local content Getty receives, the greater the chance it can fulfil photo requests.

“We’re seeing a very big trend. People take more snaps nowadays than they’ve ever done, such as on smartphones, so people are used to seeing a lot of [amateur] photos,” she explains. “For example, mothers taking photographs of their babies. People are drawn to them, they want content like that, so a lot of brands don’t always go for that professional photo that looks like it was shot in a studio… This is driving our need for more content from amateur photographers.”

So after years of acquisitions of other photo agencies in its quest to offer one of the world’s largest photo archives, the future of Getty Images seems to lie in “authentic” content from local photographers and designers.

Keep reading:

“Spotify wants to “be everywhere” in Southeast Asia” – Behind the scenes at the Asia headquarters of music-streaming giant Spotify in Singapore