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.

George Town Festival / Photo project examines how food challenges the notion of poverty

By: Cristyn Lloyd - Posted on: August 3, 2018 | Culture & Life

Since 2010, photographer Stefen Chow and his economist partner Lin Huiyi have been challenging perceptions of what it means to be poor across the globe. Their award-winning project The Poverty Line, which will exhibit at this month’s George Town Festival in Malaysia, compares 29 countries through photographs of the food choices available to those living on the poverty line in a particular country

Stefan Chow and Lin Huiyi collaborated on the project the Poverty Line

How did the Poverty Line project get started?
We decided to come up with a project that attempted to answer the question: What does being poor mean? We found that the question seemed very simple, but then as we started diving into what we knew about the subject, we realised that we had misconceptions. We started diving into figures – for every government, there’s a census that basically calculates where the poverty line starts within a society. [What] we found was that the poverty line in China was 3.28 yuan ($0.45) [per day]. To me, it didn’t feel like a lot. So, we went to the markets to buy food and realised that indeed you [have] some choices. You can get a bunch of vegetables, you can get a single chicken breast. It dawned on me that using food as a subject, [we could] change the conversation, because everyone, no matter whether you live in the top of the society strata or someone struggling below the poverty line, has access to food every day. But it is the choices that define our well-being. [So we] used food as a way to challenge our notion of what poverty is.

One photography from the Poverty Line photo series

How do different governments define poverty?
The world, by a lot of standards, is still divided into developing countries and developed countries. The calculation and the way that they define [being] poor are actually different. Developing countries will usually calculate the poverty line using absolute poverty. Simply defined, it’s seen as a survivability line – how much you need in order to survive. And this is often calculated based on caloric diets. Whereas for the developed world, the calculations are different… What you find is this is more of an expectation of what a person should have in terms of choices. For us, it’s fascinating to realise that in some ways, poverty is defined as the way we would expect, but the factors surrounding it are a lot more complicated. We try to state this in a very simple, visual way. What visitors will see is a single picture of food placed on newspapers, and the food would be the food choice based on the budget defined by their own country’s government at that particular time. So, you might see some bread in a German newspaper or you might see a single piece of octopus in Japan.

How have your perceptions of poverty changed?
At the very beginning, we saw this as a problem for developing countries. But if you dive a little bit deeper, you realise that even developed countries have very deep issues surrounding poverty as well. And perhaps [there] is not a straightforward way to compare a developing country with a developed country like Japan, but in countries where there are high costs of living and high development rates, very often people that fall through the cracks of society find it extremely burdensome to survive. For our project, [we did not want to] paint a positive or negative picture – what we are doing is to go right to the sources, cite it as factually as we can, but put it in the context of art. It lets people think about this issue, and for us, I think that’s really the purpose of the work. 

This article was published in the August 2018 edition of Southeast Asia Globe magazine. For full access, subscribe here.