Magazine article UN Chronicle

KBR68H, Indonesia Radio as a Force for Democracy

Magazine article UN Chronicle

KBR68H, Indonesia Radio as a Force for Democracy

Article excerpt

Founded by six journalists in 1999, at a time of Indonesia's transition to democracy, KBR68H is the first interactive media channel of its kind in Indonesia. Today, the radio news agency is a highly respected media organization which provides eight hours a day of independent information and educational programmes to a network of over 630 radio stations throughout Indonesia, parts of Asia and Australia. It is the largest private radio news agency in the Indonesian archipelago, reaching out to more than 18 million daily listeners. The radio news agency plays an important role in connecting Indonesia's dispersed populations; reporters of KBR68H are active in the most remote areas of the country such as the Central Highlands of Papua, Central Sumba and South East Maluku.

KING BAUDOUIN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PRIZE

On 19 May 2009, KBR68H received the 2008-2009 King Baudouin International Development Prize. The award was presented to Mr Santoso, co-founder and director of KBR68H at the Royal Palace in Brussels, in the presence of the Belgian Royal Family. The King Baudouin International Development Prize, awarded every two years since 1980, recognizes individuals and organizations that have positively contributed to the development of countries in the southern hemisphere. KBR68H is the first media organization to receive the Development Prize, named after the former king of Belgium, The radio news agency won the bi-annual Prize "for its contribution to a sustainable development based on the strengthening of democracy, tolerance and citizen participation, by producing and disseminating qualitative information through a network of local radio stations and by promoting professional ethics in the media world".

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Over the years, KBR68H has played a key role in encouraging citizen participation and promotion of tolerance and development. Many of the KBR68H radio programmes are interactive talk shows on a broad range of themes such as religious tolerance, elections, human rights, women's issues, regional challenges and sustainable development. One of its most successful radio programs is the weekly Asia calling, which is broadcast in 9 local languages by 240 radio stations in 11 countries. It is the only programme of its kind that is produced in Asia, about Asia, by Asians, providing millions of listeners with information on challenges facing the region. …

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