This week I managed to get all my pieces in for the July issue of our magazine, which is a relief considering that hitting deadlines meant dinners in the office all too often. Now I have a bit of time to think about what kind of stories I want to produce for the August issue and plan a pitch for them. Thinking of these longform stories, or features as they’re called in the office, is more difficult than I thought it would be and proves that I have more to learn than I thought I did before I got here. My first few pitches last month were on interesting topics that would have made for compelling articles in a student publication, but the biggest difference in quality of work I’ve noticed so far between student publications and Southeast Asia Globe is that in the Globe almost every piece is either a topic that has not been published publicly before, or at least takes a different angle from any other major outlet. For example, one of the reporters just wrote an incredible piece on spirit mediums in Cambodia and how many of them have blood on their hands for arbitrarily identifying “evil people” who villagers often will mob and kill. I suppose I shouldn’t reveal too much about it since it’s coming out in the July issue, but I think it’s the perfect example of a piece that’s the kind of thing other reporters will read and think “Why didn’t I write about this first?”
This week I had my first feature approved by the EIC and publisher. It’s about the landmine eradication industry in Cambodia. I’m not sure what kind of angle I’ll take with this, but I think the publisher wants me to focus on Cambodian tech innovations that are helping the industry. However, I’d like to take an angle covering how funding for these programs have become severely political rather than humanitarian, but I don’t think the government, and thus advertisers, and thus the publisher, would like that very much. I suppose it all depends on what sources I get access to.