The Globe as you know it is changing.
Coming June 2019

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  • Independent, free and member-supported
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  • 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.

Southeast Asia’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure crisis

By: Euan Black - Posted on: March 2, 2017 | Business

Weak infrastructure threatens to bring the region’s breakneck development to a grinding halt, says the Asian Development Bank

Singapore
Singapore. Photo: mivanov via VisualHunt.com

Rapid economic growth, a skyrocketing population and devastating climate change mean Southeast Asia will need to ramp up its investment in infrastructure if it is “to maintain its growth momentum [and] eradicate poverty”, according to a recent report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The ADB projects that the entire region will need to invest $210 billion a year between 2016 and 2030 – a total of $3.15 trillion – to keep pace with its current development trajectory. As it stands, the region – excluding Laos, Brunei and Singapore – spends $55 billion a year on infrastructure development, $102 billion less than needed.

Srinivasan Ancha, the Bank’s principal climate change specialist, warned that a failure to dramatically increase infrastructure spending would lead to reduced productivity and increased distribution costs and “reduce its economic competitiveness”.

“Power outages already restrain economic growth and underdeveloped transportation networks restrict the flow of people, goods, and services within cities and between urban and rural areas. City traffic congestion alone in Manila, Bangkok, Jakarta and Hanoi costs huge amounts in lost productivity and wasted fuel,” Ancha told Southeast Asia Globe.

Climate change has worsened the effects of poor infrastructure in the region, with Southeast Asia’s long coastlines and low altitudes rendering the region particularly vulnerable to unpredictable weather.

“All countries of Southeast Asia are affected by climate change, but the most affected in terms of potential GDP loss will be Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines,” Ancha wrote. “In these countries, the potential loss from climate change can vary from 6% to 11% of GDP if climate change is not addressed.”

While the public sector remains the largest source of funding for infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia, the report found that public spending as a share of GDP in Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand has been in decline since the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis and had never recovered to pre-crisis levels.

Reforms to government spending practices, the report suggests, could generate enough revenue to bridge around 40% of the $102 billion funding shortfall with the remaining 60% potentially coming from public-private sector partnerships and other forms of private sector financing.

But according to Siwage Dharma Negara, a research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies specialising in economics and development studies, public-private partnerships are a good idea in theory but present an unrealistic option for Southeast Asia.

“With infrastructure projects, the risk is high and the projects take a long time to implement so private investors generally aren’t interested,” he said.

“In order to bring in more private investment, governments need to sell infrastructure projects to private investors more efficiently by providing detailed designs and funding for proper feasibility studies.”

Weak rule of law, endemic corruption and poor transportation networks also serve as further obstacles to investment.

Ancha acknowledged that, besides the power and telecommunications sector, private investment “will be limited for the foreseeable future”.

“Based on current trends of infrastructure investment in the region, it is very unlikely that the region will overcome the shortage in funding of $102 billion per year,” he said. “As a result, infrastructure deficits will continue to prevent the region from realising its full potential.”