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

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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.

US and Cambodia fire diplomatic shots after closure of NGO

By: Nathan Paul Southern - Posted on: August 24, 2017 | Cambodia

Exchanges between the countries have grown increasingly heated after a US-funded democracy NGO was shut down and independent media outlets put on alert

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen arrives at the Manila International Airport in Manila, Philippines, 28 April 2017. Photo: EPA/Rolex Dela Pena

After the U.S. State Department expressed its “deep concern” on Wednesday over the closure of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) office in Cambodia amid a deteriorating political situation in the country, Phnom Penh shot back in an open letter issued Thursday morning.

“Cambodians are well aware of what a democratic process means. You do not need to tell us what it is,” it said in an open letter, accusing the US of being “bloody and brutal” and helping Pol Pot’s murderous Khmer Rouge come to power in the 1970s.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, facing an uncertain election set for July 2018 and broad criticism of his campaign to suppress political opponents, has repeatedly gone after the US in the past year for its hypocritical human rights rhetoric and a bombing campaign that rocked Cambodia in the 1970s. (Rather than apologizing, the US insists on having Cambodia repay a war-era debt.)

Relations reached a new low this week when the government issued a letter announcing the closure of the local NDI office, which it has accused of conspiring with the political opposition, violating a controversial and vaguely worded law regulating NGOs in the country, and not paying proper taxes.

The Cambodian government “have reached the decision to stop the operation of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Cambodia and to expel its foreign staff from the Kingdom within seven days after the official notification of this decision,” the Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement dated Wednesday.

The ministry promised that foreign staff at the US-funded institute will be removed by force if they did not comply with the order and leave the country within a week.

NDI is a non-profit that claims to be nonpartisan in its work helping to promote democracy and strengthen democratic institutions around the world. It is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, USAid and the US State Department.

Following the disputed election in 2013, the government accused NDI of being among the foreign NGOs who attempted to foment a ‘color revolution’ against the government. It drew particularly strong rebuke for a comprehensive report showing that irregularities in that election likely benefited the ruling CPP.

The last time the government kicked an NGO and its foreign staff out of the country was in 2001, when UK-based Global Witness was banished for its highly critical reporting accusing senior officials of being complicit in the illegal logging trade.

There is now significant concern that NDI could be just the first casualty as the ruling CPP, which has been in power for more than 30 years, goes on the offensive against independent NGOs and media outlets in the months ahead of next year’s election.

The Cambodia Daily has been given until 4 September to either pay $6.3 million in back taxes or be shut down. Efforts by the American publishers to dispute the bill and negotiate a settlement with the government have so far been rejected.

Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, which are both funded by the US government and have popular Khmer-language broadcasts in Cambodia every day, have also been targeted in the recent onslaught.

In its comments on the situation, the US State Department urged the Cambodian government “to allow NDI, the Cambodia Daily and other independent media and civil society organisations to continue their important activities so that Cambodia’s 2018 national elections can take place in a free and open environment.”

However, Washington’s demands may do little to change the situation on the ground, especially with Cambodia shifting away from the US. Phnom Penh cancelled routine military drills with the US this year and even kicked out a US Navy humanitarian unit called the Seabees.

“The US’s diminishing voice on human rights and democratic freedoms combined with China’s largesse and influence in Cambodia had emboldened the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to take action,” political analyst Ou Virak told the BBC. “Basically what you are now seeing is the end of a western-dominated era in Cambodian nation building and politics.”