What we do
Jom is a new weekly digital magazine covering arts, culture, politics, business, technology and more in Singapore. Though our initial focus will be on long-form writing and photography, we are committed to a diversity of formats, from short-form video to audio podcasts.
How we do it
Every Friday, we publish three pieces of journalism: a newsletter, a weekly update, and an essay.
The free newsletter includes our editor’s personal observations about Singapore and Jom. The two pieces of paid content are “Singapore This Week” and the essay.
“Singapore This Week” is an opinionated update on our city. We decide on the most important stories that week–from arts to politics and tech–and offer you Jom’s view of them. The essays, meanwhile, are deep dives on particular topics. These take months to research, write and edit.
Think of “Singapore This Week” as your quick scan at the end of the work week; and the essay as your Saturday-morning-over-coffee read. Each should appeal to a different part of your intellectual and literary soul.
Sign up for the free newsletter here, if that’s what you want for now.
If you’re already keen on a paid subscription, please check out the three tiers of Jom membership, and decide which works best for you.
Either way, welcome to the Jom community. Thank you for supporting independent journalism in Singapore.
Why we do it
We believe that a rich, diverse media sector is crucial for the functioning of democracies and their economies. Yet Singapore’s is woefully underdeveloped. There is currently no publication that both delivers regular, quality journalism, and that is also not beholden to particular political or corporate interests. Jom intends to fulfil this role.
Who we are
Jom is an independent publication that has no affiliation to any party, corporate interest or organisation. Its co-founders are Charmaine Poh, Tsen-Waye Tay and Sudhir Vadaketh. Read more about us and the rest of our team here.
The meaning of Jom
Jom is Malay for 'let’s'. It is commonly used amongst friends as a single-word call to action. Jom, let's go! It has many other everyday uses, such as 'jom makan', 'let’s eat'. A common word in Malaysia, 'jom' has in recent decades entered the Malay Singaporean vernacular.
Jom rhymes with roam, though it is sometimes pronounced 'zhom' by Chinese Malayans. No matter how it is used, the word connotes a sense of camaraderie and togetherness, of a shared sense of purpose.
We have chosen Jom as our publication’s name because it signifies our collaborative, empathic approach to journalism.
If you’re curious about our journey to the name Jom, read issue #3 of our newsletter, “Why a Malay name for an English publication? Finding Jom.”
And if you’d like to know more about our Jawi-inspired logo, read about it here.
Our approach to journalism
Jom was founded to inform and delight with slow journalism, grounded in humility and sensitivity, and guided by the never-ending quest for truth.
Slow journalism is a concept that has emerged as a rebuke to a new media landscape that often incentivises speed over quality. Many new outfits, in Singapore and elsewhere, feel a constant pressure to churn out content so as to engage as many eyeballs as possible (which in turn makes them more attractive to advertising dollars). In such an environment, journalists feel forced to respond to every issue immediately, even to the point of manufacturing outrage.
Jom is part of the small resistance against these market forces. We believe in the many values of slow journalism, and, in our below formulation, are inspired by Rob Orchard at Delayed Gratification.
- Being right over being first.
- Delivering proper long-term analysis of events (and not just reporting them).
- Producing original content and not rehashes or “churnalism”.
- Being succinct because we have limited space and you have limited time.
- Investing heavily in our entire editorial process.
It’s worth noting that numerous older publications, including The Economist and The New Yorker, have long adhered to many slow journalism values. These are not newfangled concepts. Yet, given that outfits like Delayed Gratification and Jom are starting up in an era defined by speed and engagement, it is all the more important for us to express our faith in them.
Separately, Jom’s collaborative, empathic approach to journalism means we try to operate between certain traditional and new media norms. Much of traditional journalism, we believe, is prone to an ivory-tower analysis of issues. Journalists keep a sufficient distance from their subjects because proximity is seen as a liability. Writers must be detached, so it goes, in order to produce neutral, honest reportage.
New media journalism, by contrast, has elevated the individual’s gaze, with everything from celebrity talk show hosts to bottom-up, unvarnished personal testimony as narrative.
While each has its place, we at Jom believe that journalism today must be founded on collaboration and empathy. Its starting point is a harmonious relationship between readers, writers, interviewees, communities, the planet, and other stakeholders—a harmony that thrives on the contestation of ideas.
We do not shy away from people and issues close to our hearts, even as we promise transparency and strive for rigour in our craft.
We believe that our work must expand individual choice as it fosters empathy between people.
Through our stories we seek to build community, promote inclusiveness, and inspire connection around issues that matter even as we write critically about them.
In some instances, we might want to speak delicately; in others, more forcefully; and sometimes our storytelling will simply be simmering in the background, part of a larger mission for social good.
Read more about our editorial philosophy and values here.
And if you'd like to get in touch with us, you can find out how here.
Jom tulis, let’s write.
Jom baca, let’s read.
Jom fikir, let’s think.
Jom buat, let's act.