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.

Seng Vannak / The architect designing Cambodia’s future

By: Janelle Retka - Photography by: Sam Jam - Posted on: July 17, 2018 | Business

Architect Seng Vannak was hired straight out of university in Paris to become a Phnom Penh City Hall urban planner. While he develops a new master plan for the capital, he’s also been growing Vannak Architects, which erected the high-end condominium tower Tronum. He talked with Southeast Asia Globe about how the country has grown to appreciate architecture in a new era of development

Architect Seng Vannak is growing his own business, Vannak Architects, alongside working as a Phnom Penh City Hall urban planner Photo: Sam Jam

What is the biggest challenge in architecture in Cambodia?
The biggest challenge is to have human competence – human resources. We have materials, we have land, we have plants, we have stone, we have concrete, we have everything. We need competent people to do stuff. [So] we created the company and we hired more and more young Cambodian architects [to train up].

What would you say is Vannak Architects’ biggest success?
[In training] any architect that passes through my workshop or my company… I always do my speech: “Okay, I just want you to remember that here or anywhere else you go, bring [the notion] with you that the more you copy – even yourself – the more you are killing your own job. You just have no idea that that’s what you’re doing.” [The biggest success has been instilling in upcoming architects] to try to make original stuff, and then we are rich. We will enrich our country with that.

What drew you to architecture?
Architecture for me is a long, long story. It started at a really young age when I was six and my parents brought me to visit Angkor Wat. Actually for me, even still now talking about that story, I have goosebumps.… I finished high school in Cambodia [in 1998 and went to France]… and I got the French baccalaureate, the high school degree. It’s very important in France, that degree. You have to get that to go to university. I applied for architecture school straight [away]. The process in France is you are preselected, and when you are [pre]selected, you have [to pass a verbal exam].… So I just told my story about when I was young and I was so curious. I wanted to know how [Angkor Wat] was done, how it worked, why people created it. I didn’t really notice it was a question all researchers wanted to know: Why did they build Angkor Wat?… That’s why I was selected straight away.… [Architecture] is really my passion. I like to design. It’s my breath.

How has architecture in Cambodia changed over the years?
I think Cambodians understand more and more about architecture and they have started to love design. They can [tell] the difference between what is good quality of design and what is bad quality of design. I can’t believe it;  in a short time, the young generation – and even the old generation – [have started to] talk to me about design. In that way, Cambodia has changed already. Before, they even confused architects and engineers, [but] now they know what an architect is. Before, they thought that an architect is just a useless person that goes around and carries plans, the plans to construct. But no, he is the designer. He is the idea behind that. He is the concept [developer]. Now they start to understand [who] is the mastermind [behind the] master plan, design concept and realisation.

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