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.

Rugby for all / Lao Rugby Federation promotes gender equality

By: Robin Spiess - Posted on: August 28, 2018 | Best of 2018

In Laos, the game of rugby is becoming more popular than ever through the efforts of the Lao Rugby Federation. It’s also proving to be an effective tool for promoting education and gender equity in rural communities

Laos Rugby Federation_Southeast Asia Globe 2018
The DAC Lao Women’s (and Men’s Nagas) representative sides during the Kowloon RugbyFest in Hong Kong during the week of the World Rugby Sevens Series Photo: Laos Rugby Federation

The coach creates a grid on the rugby pitch and labels each section: one is designated “male”, a second “female” and a third for “both”.

Players line up and begin passing the rugby ball amongst themselves, racing to their coach who holds a stack of cards in her hands. When the coach reads off of each card, the players scatter and run instinctively toward a specific labeled section of the field.

The coach announces terms like “strong” and “shy” alongside more specific phrases, including “can produce breast milk” and “develops chest hair”. As players choose which section of the field to run toward, they make a decision about whether or not they believe the announced traits belong to a singular gender or whether they apply to both.

“The purpose of the game is to understand there are differences between sex and gender,” explained Stephanie Kim, a technical officer at the Lao Rugby Federation (LRF). “It’s how the coach begins the discussion, [who] then can ask questions that help change perceptions and break boundaries.”

Laos Rugby Federation_Southeast Asia Globe 2018
Training session Photo: Laos Rugby Federation

This is a typical drill implemented by the Lao Rugby Federation’s (LRF) rugby programme, established in 2001 under the Laos Ministry of Education and Sport, which offers regular community and school training sessions in the sport. Through its Champa Ban Youth Rugby Project, the LRF operates in dozens of schools and youth groups in Vientiane Capital, Vientiane Province, and Xieng Khouang Province, running a curriculum that uses rugby to teach important lessons regarding gender equity, leadership and financial planning.

Though the rugby federation has been around for nearly two decades, the LRF found new direction and outlets for growth through its 2015 partnership with the ChildFund Pass It Back project, an Australian-funded regional sport development programme. The programme had approximately 300 registered players across Laos in 2015 and now has more than 3,000 with plans to expand and nearly double its number of registered teams in the upcoming year.

“Since working with ChildFund Pass It Back, Laos has become one of the strongest promoters of using rugby to implement a life-skills curriculum that builds future leaders,” said Kim.

When you hear about Laos being a leader, that’s quite unusual – but it is, and we’ve seen huge amounts of change and growth within our rugby project in the past three years

Laos Rugby Federation_Southeast Asia Globe 2018
Rugby for all Photo: Laos Rugby Federation

Even as it expands, the federation continues to face its share of challenges. It can be difficult to find safe fields for the teams to play on because of the constant fear of unexploded ordnance in the countryside. Local players and coaches also tend to quit the game because they feel pressure from their families to work or marry at young ages.

Laos Rugby Federation_Southeast Asia Globe
Penalty practice during training Photo: Laos Rugby Federation

“We want to address the issue [of early marriage] by offering more opportunities for young people to be more confident in themselves. So, for example, we pay our coaches a monthly stipend,” Kim explained. “In some cases, their parents are supportive of them continuing to work for pay instead of telling them they have no other option than to get married.”

While a large percentage of the federation’s coach trainers used to be foreign, the LRF has made has made a strong push for locals to take on head coaching and training roles. Now, most LRF coaches are locals between 16 and 24 years old – and, unlike in other rugby leagues, there are about as many females as male coaches.

We try make sure we have an equal amount of female and male teams and coaches, and we really want to push this concept across the entire federation 

Annabel Cater, coordinator for LRF sponsorship and outreach, explained that the “rugby for all” slogan adopted by the LRF has seen the programme place a stronger focus on gender equity than at other federations in the region and the world. While the international rugby stage is predominantly male, she said that in Laos, the game is being played by a higher percentage of women than in most Western countries.

“Rugby is still a fairly new sport in Laos, so when we started playing, there were no ideas or preconceived notions about who could play it,” said Cater. “So women have started playing, and in some villages in Laos, people think of rugby as a predominantly female sport. Our players are sometimes surprised when other regions don’t have as many female players.”

The LRF rugby programme has had a positive impact on the country in great part because of the very nature of the sport, which builds great camaraderie, said Cater: “It’s a sport based on respect and trust because you’re literally putting your body on the line for your team. It’s a confidence-building sport that teaches accountability and leadership, and these are skills we want to pass on to every single youth in this country – boys and girls alike.”