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.

Pride Tuk Tuk Race brings festival spirit to streets of Phnom Penh

By: Emily Smith - Posted on: May 26, 2017 | Cambodia

Cambodia’s ‘Amazingly Fabulous Pride Tuk Tuk Race’ attracted a record 64 entrants to its fourth annual event last weekend, giving a jolt of recognition to a community often misunderstood in the Southeast Asian nation

Vichet Nou, who goes by Nix, organized the 10-day Pride celebrations in Phnom Penh. Photo: Emily Smith

Four men dressed in drag sprinting through Phnom Penh’s Toul Tom Poung market have caught the eye of a local fishmonger. Instead of using her cleaver to chop the head from a river fish, she pauses to stare as the group passes. Beside her, a fruit seller hawking mangoes laughs, and shoppers pull out their phones to take photos.

While it’s the novelty that has the market ladies talking, for a moment, Cambodia’s LGBTI community is visible.

Ensuring the community was seen and celebrated was top of the agenda for Vichet Nou, the organiser of Cambodia’s 10-day Pride festival.

Under the theme ‘I am what I am’, the festival ran from May 12 – 22, with the tuk tuk race on May 20 one of the final acts on the calendar.

A record 64 teams braved torrential rain to complete a two-hour scavenger hunt across the city, solving puzzles that led them to a series of checkpoints at gay-friendly bars and restaurants.

David Hunt has been coordinating the ‘Amazingly Fabulous Pride Tuk Tuk Race’ since 2012. Photo: Emily Smith

European expat and former school teacher David Hunt first came up with the idea for a tuk tuk race shortly after moving to Phnom Penh 11 years ago. In 2012, he remodelled it to run as part of Pride week, and went on to coordinate the event with fellow expat Ali Shankonie.

Despite the weeks of preparation that went into this year’s event, they were blown away by the overwhelming response, arriving at the starting line to see “just a wash of colour and diversity”.

“The effort that went into those tuk tuks and those costumes,” Hunt said. “If you’ve had bad experiences with family or with the community, it means a lot that 300-plus people come out in support of this.”

While many of the competitors this year were also expats, more than 120 were Cambodian, including winners Sopheap Chuk and his team from the Space Hair Salon and Bar.

As the winners, they chose to donate the $775.50 raised on the day to Prumsodun Ok & Natyarasa, an organisation starting Cambodia’s first gay dance company.

Participants in the tuk tuk race take a selfie. Photo: Emily Smith

But while four times as many people took part in this year’s race compared to last year, most Cambodians still view homosexuality as a ‘phase’ that people grow out of, according to Nou, the organiser of this year’s pride.

He told Southeast Asia Globe that he had to explain “what being gay was” to his family when he came out at the age of 22, and that, despite knowing he was gay, older relatives still expected him to marry a woman one day.

Notwithstanding his family’s struggles to understand his sexual orientation, he believes coming out to his family was “a pretty good experience” overall.

“[My dad] said: ‘You’re still my kid… whoever you are going to pick as a boyfriend or a girlfriend, just pick a nice one,’” he said.

But other gay friends had a much tougher time, particularly when confronted with the pressure to get married.

Some felt compelled to hide their sexual orientation and marry a woman, rather than come out; others waited until they were no longer financially dependent on their families before revealing their sexuality.

According to Nou, the best way to change attitudes is by shining a light on the successes of those within the LGBTI community.

The fact that he’s gay but also, at just 25 years old, a successful graphic designer would come as a surprise to many, he said.

“I want to show them that gay people can do something. When they see [that] they will [think]: ‘Oh that guy is gay, I didn’t know he could do that job,’” Nix said. “I want to make the community visible in this country.”