The Globe as you know it is changing.
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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.

Cambodia Daily publishers banned from leaving the country

By: Euan Black - Posted on: September 4, 2017 | Cambodia

Following the Cambodian newspaper’s closure over an unpaid tax bill, the General Department of Taxation has announced the newspaper’s general manager will not be permitted to leave the country unless the owners pay $6.3m in alleged arrears

A man reads newspapers on display at the Cambodia Daily newspaper office in Phnom Penh, 4 September 2017. Photo: EPA/Mak Remissa

Hours after the Cambodia Daily’s final edition went to print Monday morning with the front page headline “Descent Into Outright Dictatorship”, the tax department issued a statement telling immigration police to prevent the newspaper’s publishers from leaving the country.

Based on the tax law, the statement said, “the General Department of Taxation requests cooperation with General Department of Immigration to prevent travel out of Cambodia by Ms. Deborath [sic] Krisher Steele and Mr. Douglas Eric Steele, who are responsible, to push [them] to make the payment”.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said by telephone that the case would now be sent to court, but declined to say what measures might be taken against Douglas Steele, the general manager of the newspaper and son-in-law of founder and publisher Bernard Krisher.

“If you are under obligation to pay tax and you try to get away from paying tax there is a procedure. For the time being there is a due process to keep them from leaving Cambodia and they [the tax department] will seek the court to intervene in this matter,” Siphan said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly branded the Daily’s publishers “thieves” last month and has insisted that the move against one of the country’s oldest independent news outlets is not political.

The Daily’s publishers insist that it is, and made their stance clear in a statement issued on Sunday afternoon.

“The power to tax is the power to destroy. And after 24 years, one month and 15 days, the Cambodian government has destroyed The Cambodia Daily, a special and singular part of Cambodia’s free press,” the statement said.

The publishers acknowledged that while “there may well be a legitimate dispute between the tax department and the owners of the Daily over when tax became collectable and in what amount”, the government’s disregard for due process and use of “extra-legal threats” exposed the politically motivated nature of the case.

Steele, who was in the country as of last night, declined to comment when reached yesterday. His wife, who lives in Tokyo along with her father and is the newspaper’s deputy publisher, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Siphan, the government spokesman, said it was the Krisher family who was making the issue political in order to dodge the tax bill.

“The Daily itself is speaking with political intentions to cover up that they don’t want to pay taxes,” he said. “They wrote to the prime minister to help. This have nothing to do with prime minister – it is an issue with the department of taxation.”

Both Steele and US Ambassador William Heidt have met with tax officials over the past month in an attempt to reach a resolution over the tax bill, but to no avail.

The shuttering of the Daily is seen by many as part of a wider government strategy to silence dissenting political voices in the run-up to next year’s national elections. The Information Ministry has banned radio stations outside Phnom Penh from carrying the US-funded Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, two of the main Khmer-language sources of independent news in a media landscape dominated by government-aligned outlets.

The ruling party’s assault on democracy was the subject of the Daily’s final front page story. During the early hours of the newspaper’s final day in operation, police arrested opposition leader Kem Sokha for alleged treason linked to a speech in which he spoke of US support for building Cambodia’s opposition movement.

Inside the final edition of the Daily was a statement from Krisher, a journalist and philanthropist who founded the newspaper in 1993.

“If the government doesn’t like the way I ran the paper for the past 24 years, they should come after me. I take full responsibility for how I operated. It they want to prosecute anyone, I will come back because I did this,” he wrote. “The charges against my newspaper is the regime’s thuggish attempt to disable our operations in haste.”

(Additional reporting from Colin Meyn, a previous editor at the Cambodia Daily)