The recent Covid-19 outbreak in Cambodia, where we are based, has led to strict lockdowns and restrictions, severely impacting the country’s economy.
As a result the Globe has found itself in a situation where contracts that would provide much needed revenue have been put on hold and payment of outstanding invoices are being delayed. Ultimately, this has led to what can only be described as a cash flow crisis.
To help ensure the Globe’s sustainability and get us through this difficult time, we are kicking off a fundraising campaign for the next two months with a goal of raising $100,000 USD to maintain our editorial operations through the end of the year. But rather than ask for a handout, we’ve come up with a few ways to repay your support.
Those who donate $55 or more will get an annual membership to Southeast Asia Globe. Globe Members have access to all of our stories from 2007, receive our members only newsletter with insights into the newsroom, are able to take part in our regular story vote on which features you want us to pursue next, and gain preferential access to Globe events.
Donors who give $100 or more can either receive a two-year Globe membership or two one-year Globe memberships. One for themself and one to give away.
Donors who support with $500 or more will be given a lifetime membership to Globe, receiving unlimited access to our stories and member benefits.
Those who offer $1,000 or more, will receive a lifetime membership, with all the benefits of a regular Globe Member, as well as a seat on our editorial advisory board. The editorial advisory board will meet with the editorial team digitally once per quarter to go over recently published articles, discuss upcoming features and share insights on important topics and issues around the region. They will also receive a monthly newsletter updating them on the business and operations side of the publication.
The Globe’s annual operating budget from 2020 was $167,083.76 with roughly 68% ($114,278.00) of the budget allocated towards salaries and a little more than 15% ($25,347.75) dedicated to editorial expenses like freelancers, wire services, photography and travel. The remaining 17% ($27,458.02) was split between rent and utilities, software subscriptions and IT, and miscellaneous costs and taxes.
All funding from this fundraising drive will be invested directly into the newsroom where we will be paying the salaries of our staff and fees to our editorial contributors from around the region. Having already made it to May, the $100,000 will allow us to operate until the end of the year. Anything above this would allow us to accomplish a level of sustainability into 2022 and give us the opportunity to grow as a publication, offering new products like our podcast Anakut.
The Globe’s mission is to tell stories from across the region that promote a more informed, inclusive and sustainable future, and over the past year we did some of our best work yet. During the early onset of the pandemic we offered perhaps the first look into Vietnam’s quarantine facilities, as well as spoke with leading virologist Jessica Manning in Cambodia about some of the very first sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to be found outside of China.
This past year through our junior reporter training program we’ve worked with 11 young aspiring journalists in five countries.
As the year drew on, we offered first-hand reporting on the demonstrations that swept through Thailand as a part of the kingdom’s groundbreaking pro-democracy movement, while more recently our coverage has turned to the February coup d’etat in Myanmar where we’ve worked diligently from day one to report scenes from on the ground, as well as top-down analysis on the big players opposing the coup.
This past year through our junior reporter training program we’ve worked with 11 young aspiring journalists in five countries. Some are still with us now, like Wanpen Pajai from Thailand, who is now receiving a data journalism fellowship from the Stimson Center, East West Center and Internews. Allegra Mendelson has also gone from her first byline as a journalist just three months ago, to producing Pulitzer Center-funded, cross-published work for the Globe with the Washington Post and Al Jazeera.
Then there are those who are no longer with us, including Tara Abhasakun, also based in Thailand, who received a stringer position with Al Jazeera and is now freelancing. Alexi Demetriadi, who returned to his native England, also took up a position as a sub-editor with The Economist’s Intelligence Unit. Lee Ying Shan, our former intern in Singapore, joined the video production team at Reuters. While Ashley Lampard has been offered a place on an Investigative Journalism masters programme at City, University of London.
In the wake of Covid-19, we also established our sister publication Focus-Ready for tomorrow, run by a young team of Cambodian journalists providing high-quality Khmer-language news targeted at the Kingdom’s youth. In a shrinking media space here, it’s one of the few remaining places for young Cambodian reporters to cut their teeth in a high-quality journalism environment.
Your support for Southeast Asia Globe will not only allow us to continue our pursuit of independent journalism, but will also allow us to continue working with and training young media professionals who are passionate about helping to make sense of the world we live in.
In an information environment hostile to free press and independent media, inundated with fake news and misinformation, we believe our mission of telling stories for a more informed, inclusive and sustainable future is more important than ever.
From all of us here at Globe, stay safe and stay well and thank you for your kind support.