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

  • More thought-provoking stories that inspire
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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.

The path of least (antibiotic) resistance

By: Paul Millar - Posted on: May 30, 2017 | Featured

With the threat of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ looming large across the region, Southeast Asia Globe spoke with tropical medicine researcher Marco Haenssgen about his work educating rural communities on the dangers of misusing antibiotics

A medical officer (C) escorts volunteers with a simulated flu infection for transfer to the hospital at an arrival gate in the Changi Airport during an island-wide flu pandemic exercise in Singapore on Friday 21 July 2006. Photo: EPA/How Hwee Young

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

What are some of the misconceptions about antibiotic use in rural parts of Southeast Asia?

I would personally refrain from talking about ‘misconceptions’ and would rather refer to ‘local conceptions’. There is, of course, still a lot that we do not understand, which is why there is so much social research activity in this area. But some of the things we have observed in our social research… were related to language. For example, the Thai vernacular expression of antibiotics translates into ‘anti-inflammatory drugs’, used for a specific set of symptoms – like a sore throat.

Where people don’t have an active notion of antibiotics, it becomes quite difficult to steer them away from overuse via educational messages. Sometimes, warning messages about antibiotics can in fact have adverse consequences for these groups because they could be scared off from using medicine more broadly.

What are some of the dangers of incorrectly or overprescribing antibiotics?

Generally it is widely accepted that the over- and misuse of antibiotics contributes to the problematic trend of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. There might be many reasons for why too many – rather than too few – antibiotics are being prescribed. Some are commonly attributed to supply pressure from pharmaceutical companies or that antibiotics are perceived as magic pills, but that is certainly not the whole story.

Just imagine a setting where a doctor has to make a choice under uncertainty – the patient might have an infectious disease that might be cured with an antibiotic, but this is difficult to tell without proper diagnostic equipment. In such a case, antibiotics can be the ‘safe choice’ for a doctor to prevent a potential patient death – at the expense of potentially contributing to antibiotic resistance.

What are some of the steps that you and your colleagues take to educate these communities on the threat of antimicrobial resistance?

The [Southeast Asia-based] Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit is very active in public engagement. Educational videos and posters have been produced. We are currently brainstorming more – and scalable – activities that might reach a broader rural population. But there are indeed a lot of challenges.

Educational messages are difficult to craft and need to be appropriate to the local understanding of antibiotics and illness. It is also difficult to assess whether educational messages are effective, because they do not automatically change behaviour.

Part of the problematic patterns that we see might not be because people are ‘ignorant’, but simply because they don’t have better healthcare choices. Somebody who is poor, dependent on work for mere survival and potentially isolated in their community might find it difficult to act on the good advice that they shouldn’t take antibiotics without first consulting a doctor – who might be very difficult to reach in some rural areas.

Marco Haenssgen is a post-doctoral scientist in health policy and systems at Oxford University’s Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health, and a research associate at the university’s Green Templeton College.