As you will see throughout our January 2019 Issue we are celebrating ten years of publishing NOW! Bali and while I have no wish to be immodest, I have to say we’ve done a good job! But of course I had some experience before launching NOW! Bali having started the first real visitor magazine on the island (but actually the second!) some twenty five years ago. So when we sat down to plan NOW! Bali’s first edition we have a very clear idea of what we had to do.
NOW! Bali Over the Years: January 2009 (first edition), January 2012, January 2019
First we had to cover the absolute essential information for visitors to Bali whether short term, long term, domestic or international: what’s on, where to go, what to do, wining and dining, shopping, nightlife, spas, sport and culture. That’s what we did, and that’s what we still do.
But behind all this was a very clear principle: we created NOW! Bali to serve the best interests of the island and the Balinese people, to champion heritage, culture, art and nature above all. We decided to ignore visiting “superstar” actors, models, celebrities, even chefs, who come to flaunt their success and to focus instead Bali’s needy, its children, its sick, and the people who look after them, and that is also what we are still doing ten years later.
Most of the people who started this journey with us are still on board: Weni –Manager, Jean, Dewi and Jill – Contributors, Heritanta – Designer, Djoko – Production, Sudigdo – Art Director and of course Janthy – Director.
Of course we added some serious talent along the way: Namhar – Editor, Richard, Bruce and Will – Contributors, Husnul, Aulya, Dandi – Digital Team, Sachi – Writer, Edward & Yanti – Marketing team to make what I believe is a great, talented, tight, focused, and dynamic team.
But before I close let me just tell you the things we don’t support in Bali, haven’t ever and won’t now: real estate development which swallows fields and forests; billboards that block views and turn culture to commercial; shop houses which are simply not part of Balinese culture, long term residents who speak no Balinese or Indonesian and don’t know the culture of Bali, and everyone who comes to Bali to help themselves not to help Bali. These are the things that have quickly swamped Bali in the last ten years, and need to be slowed, stopped and reversed. That remains our aim and our passion.
I hope to tell you in ten years time we have succeeded.
Alistair G. Speirs, OBE
Read or download NOW! Bali’s 10th Anniversary Issue online for free: January 2019