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Covering elections is something of a specialty for New Mandala. Now, the Bell School-based website is preparing for one of its most anticipated: Malaysia’s general election, due in the first half of the year. With support from the Bell School’s Malaysia Institute, New Mandala is planning a series of events, publications, and podcasts to cover ‘#GE14’.
The team has also brought on experienced Malaysian journalist Kean Wong as a contributing editor. It is the first time the publication has hired a journalist from abroad at the editorial level. In his first start to the year as editor, Liam Gammon thinks there’s a tremendous amount of knowledge and insight into how Southeast Asia works that is generated within academia, “but only a tiny proportion of that reaches the public,” he says. “One of the great things about New Mandala is that it gives scholars the opportunity to have a stab at interpreting major events pretty much as soon as they happen.”
Gammon’s time as editor has been marked by new partnerships and ongoing collaborations, such as an upcoming conference on Cambodia in March supported by Indonesia’s TIFA Foundation. A regular New Mandala podcast could also be in the pipeline. “I’m very keen on experimenting with podcasts,” Gammon says. “The podcast boom shows no sign of slowing down.”