Ten years, nearly 600 editions and over 10,000 pages of articles later, Bali Update should necessarily pause and reflect on its evolution during what has been a most eventful decade in the history of Bali's tourism.
Born in 1998 as Indonesia weathered the political upheaval of a historic change of regime, smoke clouds from Sumatran forest fires and region-wide economic collapse, - the Bali Update has grown remarkably from the original simple email shared with a small group of colleagues providing a "local view" on developments that we felt were ignored under reported by the international media. Over the past ten years a system of shared emails has evolved into a newsletter now sent every Monday to nearly 20,000 subscribers.
Along the way, we received both plaudits and bombast. On the plus side, Time Magazine (Asia) labeled our newsletter "Bali's Truth Ministry," leading members of the world’s electronic and print media regularly quote balidscovery.com as a reliable source and numerous awards – most recently a Pacific Asia Travel Association Gold Award (2007) as the best promotional newsletter in the Asia-Pacific region have come our way. We also have our detractors and critics, including a hell-bent operator of several hate sights urging a boycott of Bali tourism who detests our steadfast defense of the Island and, closer to home, some organizations in Bali who wish Bali Update limited itself to press releases, avoiding "hard news" related to Bali tourism.
Trying to get the balance right is our constant concern when producing Bali Update. That we get near equal measure of praise and criticism suggests that we may be getting it "about right."
In personal mitigation to our critics, we offer the explanation that our attempts at objective coverage of Bali tourism are neither "mean spirited" nor driven by any latent desire to engage in investigative journalism. In fact, our coverage of Bali is almost universally derived from international news reports on Bali and coverage from the Indonesian language press. Committed to preserving the trust we share with our readers, we always strive to present the news in an objective and truthful manner. And, by reporting both the good and bad news on Bali, we also strive to preserve Bali's right to be heard on important issues; making sure that ongoing steps to catch criminals, correct short comings and improve the life on the island are also get aired internationally.
Clearly, there is a price to be paid and risks associated with such candidness. Bali Update is made possible from the income generated by Balidiscovery.com and related travel sites from Bali. If we paint Bali in an overly negative way, we'll scare the very visitors who make the bookings keep us economically viable. On the other hand, if we but once betray the trust of any reader, he or she will likely "unsubscribe" eliminating an important part of our worldwide network of "Baliphiles."
Because of this, we remain committed to try to publish all the news on Bali; both the good news and the occasionally "painful."
Whether you brand us "naughty" or "nice" Bali Update's been here each week through ten years of economic upheaval, terrorist bombings and medical emergencies. And, as our regular readers know, when it comes to the subject of Bali - Bali Update is an unabashed and unrepentant fans of a place we believe is still home to the world's most cherished culture – a place we want everyone to visit whenever a tired soul needs the special remedy only available on this Island
When it comes to regrets and apologies, we reserve those for the poor unfortunates yet to visit our special island.
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