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.

Inside the studio helping Cambodian artists put their talents to profitable use

By: Will Feuer - Posted on: August 4, 2017 | Cambodia

Phare Creative Studio is providing a practical outlet for budding designers to explore “the brightness of the arts”

The team at Phare Creative Studio. Photo supplied
This article was published in the June​ edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here. 

Phare Ponleu Selpak means `the brightness of the arts’ in Khmer, and in the past two decades few organisations have done as much to nurture and support the bright young talents of Cambodia. Based in Battambang in the country’s northwest, the NGO provides artistic training, education and social support to more than 1,000 students every day. Its prestigious programmes include arts schools, a world-renowned circus and, now, the Phare Creative Studio.

In a country where creative talents can often be overlooked due to an economy with relatively little diversity, the studio offers employment opportunities for graduates of Phare’s own Visual and Applied Arts School (VAAS), who might otherwise have found themselves, diploma in hand, wondering: `What next?’

The studio’s young staff works in fields including graphic design, illustration, animation, visual arts and more, with their work for clients from Lawyers Without Borders to Unesco appearing widely throughout Cambodia as well as abroad. Often, the staff are given creative freedom to explore, especially topics with an emphasis on social issues. Floating Away, a tragic animation film about the dichotomy between the hopes and often-exploitative reality of economic migration, released in 2010 for Oxfam United and the River Kids Foundation, is a perfect case in point.

The studio’s artists are afforded a high-tech space to chase their dreams of positively shaping Cambodia and, perhaps more importantly, also provided with health insurance for their entire family and a competitive salary – rare benefits in Cambodia, especially for artists.

Now an animator at the studio, Sin Thoukna came from humble beginnings. One of nine children in his family in Battambang province, Thoukna felt a passion for drawing from a young age but, unaware of any outlets to pursue it, and unable to afford a university education, he found himself living in a pagoda, struggling to find his way.

At 20, he enrolled at VAAS and now works at the studio for clients such as the Apsara Authority in Siem Reap, the agency tasked with maintaining the Angkor Archaeological Park. The studio’s work for the authority includes an inventive poster promoting cultural diversity along the Tonle Sap river.

“I feel proud that lots of people are  amazed because young Cambodians can produce such good work,” Sin told Southeast Asia Globe. “Cambodia is transforming and education is critical.”

Phare Creative Studio not only instils Cambodian artists with the confidence to dream, but also with the skills to potentially achieve those ambitions.

“If you are here in Battambang working with the young graduates and the teachers, you feel the spirit to continue to learn and do something for their country, for their community and for art,” said Coralie Baudet, the studio’s manager.