People regularly assume Southeast Asia Globe is a much bigger operation than we are in reality. We give off big publication energy, I guess.
That certainly has its benefits – we’re a tight-knit team of friends, with the freedom to explore ideas and projects that interest us. But inevitably it also has its downsides, mainly, we’re all pretty exhausted a lot of the time.
Personally, I feel we peaked in terms of the Globe’s best ever, most impactful and certainly most controversial reporting to date around early April this year. That time saw us co-publish stories with the Washington Post and Al Jazeera following Allegra’s trip to Myanmar, something that sparked a heated and needed debate on journalism ethics. Kiana also dug into the controversial issue of sex workers in Cambodia, providing what I felt was a rare genuinely fresh perspective on the debate. It also saw Andrew and I interview the brother of a Tuol Sleng victim in the wake of a Vice story colourising photos of victims of the Cambodian genocide, a story for which I received more positive feeback than any other.
But as so often seems to be the case in life, following this peak has come a trough. Pushing out this kind of journalism takes a lot of time and energy, and it’s starting to catch up with us all.
In terms of our Phnom Penh-based team, Kiana and Allegra have been a revelation since they joined, but we’ve asked a lot of them and they are inevitably starting to burn out. Andrew has been a Globe stalwart for two years now, and he rarely enjoys time off. I’ve also been grinding to get content out Monday-Friday for the past 20 months. The eagle-eyed among you will have noticed we missed one day last week when a story fell through – that signalled to me it was time to take a break.
So in the spirit of recharging our batteries, we’ve decided to take a one-week hiatus from publishing, starting today, Monday June 14. We’ll return on Monday June 21 and use our time away to reset and recalibrate. A key part of our mission is to bring you the most important stories from across the region, not the most stories, so we’ll also be considering the quality and direction of our reporting moving forward.
While we’re away, we’ll be promoting some of the young reporters who have passed through our organisation in the past year or so, as training and equipping aspiring young journalists in Southeast Asia to succeed in this field is the work we’re most proud of. To help us continue this work of training a new generation of journalists in the region, as well as our regular reporting, please consider contributing to our ongoing fundraising efforts.
So here’s to putting our feet up a little. We’ll see you all next week.