Tosca Santoso

Kantor Berita Radio KBR68H
Year founded: 

KBR68H is Indonesia’s only independent radio news agency, providing greater access to information for more than 22 million listeners across Indonesia, Asia, and Australia.

Focus: Communications, Media
Geographic Area of Impact: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand
Model: Social Business
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 22 million
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Indonesia, 2010

Indonesia emerged from the grip of authoritarian rule more than a decade ago, and the demand for independent, unbiased information has greatly increased in recent years. Previously, Indonesian radio was tightly restricted in terms of content, and even small rural stations were confined to broadcasting censored government news bulletins. As the country transitioned to democracy, independent news radio was yet unheard of, as many citizens had never imagined that radio could deliver practical information. There was neither broadcast journalism equipment nor journalists trained to design and deliver such content. Since its establishment in 2000, KBR68H has been revolutionizing Indonesia’s news and radio industry, allowing greater access to news and practical information for millions of rural and urban Indonesians and Southeast Asians.

Innovation and Activities
KBR68H works with a network of 650 radio stations across the archipelago, as well as in 9 countries in Asia and Australia. It produces high-quality, independent content disseminated by these affiliate stations, penetrating Indonesia’s previously unreachable areas and other parts of Asia where free, independent information is rare. In total, KBR68H broadcasts reach +22 million people, addressing practical and relevant topics such as legal issues, health, environmental preservation, economic policy, education and politics.

KBR68H is committed to raising standards in the radio industry and giving greater access to information to the entire region. It currently has 50 journalists in Jakarta, 100 correspondents across Indonesia, and 30 contributors in Asia. A new initiative of KBR68H, 'Asia Calling', delivers in-depth reporting on major regional issues, utilizing the knowledge of local correspondents across the continent, sharing insights on major regional and local challenges, and inspirational stories of successful men and women who positively impact their communities.

Green Radio, a recently launched KBR68H subsidiary, highlights environmental issues relevant to Indonesians and encourages citizens to take action to protect their local environment. Recently, Green Radio organized a reforestation project in partnership with local communities and set up a small ecotourism programme in Gede Pangrango National Park.

KBR68H joins more than 40 local television stations, with a total audience of +40 million, through Tempo TV, aiming to raise the standard of television content in the country. It produces public service oriented programmes concerned with under-served subjects and the educational needs of viewers. In addition to these specific projects, KBR68H is bridging the information gap in Indonesia by empowering small, rural radio stations through training programmes in radio journalism, technical matters and marketing.

The Entrepreneur
A graduate of the Bogor Agriculture Institute, Santoso founded Kantor Berita Radio (KBR68H) in 2000, establishing the first independent news radio in Indonesia. Prior to Indonesia’s transition to democracy, he was involved with print media. As radio restrictions diminished in the 1990s, Santoso was compelled to move into radio news and contribute to the development and expansion of this industry that had remained repressed in Indonesia.