Community Radio: The Anti-Corruption Movement Agent in Indonesia


Indonesia is a country with high levels of corruption. On 2013,, an independent organization,has conducted a survey over 146 countries and there were 10 countries that has been stated as the most corrupted countries. Indonesia ranked fifth.

Indonesia has a large variety of cultural habits, religions, and language.In the diverse Indonesian culture, their perception of corruption is still ambiguous. Some of them feel annoyed of the fact that corruption has become a culture. But most of them do nothing regardless.They are just “silent”.

“Silent” is one of our habit.We believe at minding of your own bussiness and “silence is golden”. Indonesia has a long history of colonial and over 30 years of corrupt governance (during the “Orde Baru” era). Maybe we has been repressed for so long that it influenced our way of thinking.

In the reformation era, Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission) – KPK, has been established. It performs as an independent institution that have the authority to eradicate and prevent the act of corruption in Indonesia.

The KPK works effectively. Since its establishment, lots ofcorruption cases were unveiled and the offenders convicted of corruption were serving jail sentences. According to the 2011 KPK’ report, since 2004 there are 285 cases of criminal acts of corruption. Criminals corruption is comprised of the house and members of the council, minister/the head of institution, ambassador, commissioner/lecturer, governor, regent and his deputy, echelon officials I, II and III; judges, prosecutors, and the private sector, as well as other profession. Most cases involving echelon I, II and III with 91 cases, and then the private sector as much as 55 cases, and members of the House of Representatives/ regional parliaments reaching 48 cases, also as well as other sectors by as much as 31 cases.

Although many cases of corruption are exposed and has become the headline news in the mass media, it doesn’t dissipate the corruptive manner. On the other hands, those exposures resulted on theawareness in dodging laws concerning corruption in Indonesia.

The approach of laws against corruption makes the anti-corruption movement as elitist, not populist. To make the anti-corruption movement populist (not only as a legal action), it’s going to take a wide variety of actions to advocatethe community so they will become more involved and tochange the public conceptions to notallowing any act of corruption in anywhere.

To establish an anti-corruption culture, we have to start with the appropriate knowledge about the corruption itself and how it will ruined our society.Therefore we need a forum that consist of ”information agent” to motivate and also cultivate a new anti-corruption generation.

Radio Komunitas (Community Radio), a media that has been managed by the community,has participatein anti-corruption campaigns since 2009. Those campaigns have been launched both on air and off air. People has been monitoring the developmental programs in their areain order to prevent any act of corruption involved.

Radio Komunitasas an alternative media has predominantly over-powering the mainstream media. Being regional, although it has a low frequency and may not covered a broad area, it has been an effective tools to connect each member of the community/society.

Radio Komunitas is emerge from thevariety of public needs.And eventhough there are some restrictive broadcasting policy, Radio Komunitas still proven effective to accomodate information exchange between members of society and its sustainability can be maintain with the active participation of the people to control and manage the broadcasting content.

Why Radio Komunitas? There are fourgood reasons for choosing Radio Komunitas. First, it was managed by the society so they know exactly what is happening around them. Second, with limited coverage areathe broadcasting issue can be tailored to the listeners’ needs. Third, its independent status allowed it to accomodate people’ aspirations and their needs of informations. Fourth, it is very accessible because: it does not require an ability to read, has a cheap operational costs, the exchange of information is actual and interactive.

This paper will further explore Radio Komunitas activities to supportthe anti-corruption movement and how we promote the values of anti-corruption such as honesty, bravery, transparency and responsibility. 


Radio Komunitas and the Anti-Corruption Movement

Since 2009, Radio Komunitas which merges to the Jaringan Radio Komunitas Indonesia – JRKI (the Indonesian Radio Community Network) has been monitoring development programs named PNPM Mandiri. Furthermore, the DISKUSI program was designed as a tool of anti-corruption movement that emphasizes the values of honesty, bravery, transparency and responsibility.

The DISKUSI program, moreover emphasizing on how the Radio Komunitas mediate the accountability and transparency in the PNPM Mandiri program. Accountability refers to a certain measured parameters to reflect the implementation of govermental policy. Transparency is a condition that allows many parties to access any available information.

PNPM is the Indonesian government program under the Minister of Economy and People’s Welfare to reduce the number poverty in Indonesia. Thisprogram was designed to give fundings for the officials in urban village area in order to build the infrastructure and also give the venture capital for poor people. In 2013, Indonesian government allocates a total budget of 11.5 trillion rupiahs for the PNPM program.

The DISKUSI program is a collaboration of the PSF, Combine, and the JRKI which involved 142 Radio Komunitas as program partners.The program partners are in title of monitoring the PNPM Mandiri implementation in the service area on or off air. This 142 Radio Komunitas spread in 14 provinces in Indonesia. Including Aceh, North Sumatera, West Sumatera, Lampung, Banten, West Java, Central Java, Jogjakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, South Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, North Sulawesi and West Borneo.

For the on air broadcast, Radio Komunitas producenews contents, public service advertisements, talk shows with the theme of the accountability and transparency of PNPM Mandiri. Off air programs were aimed to launch the anti-corruption movement campaign through gatherings, religious activities, entertainment program, etc. This programs worked based on the believe that by having the information, we can raise people’ awareness of their rights and obligations so that they can actively participate in the implementation and supervision of the course of govermental policy and furthermore prevent any act of corruption.

This movement was established to support the role of Radio Komunitas, not only as a medium of dissemination, but also as“the voice of the voiceless”. Radio Komunitas is empowering communities in the surrounding areas to become more “involved” inthe developmental project in their area. This movement is enabling people to speak their mind as they are the source of the changes in their own community (as the basic journalism issue in Radio Komunitas).

All products (audio, text, SMS, video, and photo) which related to anti-corruption movement regarding the PNPM Mandiri program is uploaded in the online portal website ( the existence of a website containing information and all types of production, each Radio Komunitas can have reciprocal interaction with each other. The website also accessible for goverment officials so communications can be built and direct actions can be taken.

News Content Analysis on the Production of Radio Komunitas

This news analysis was based on news content related to the DISKUSI program which has been uploaded on the website since April 2013 to November 2013 with the total number of 2.278 news. We furthermore categorized each news to four major information categories:

  1. General information, news or articles that contain information of general nature and also the implementation of PNPM program at each region.
  2. “Problem” information, news or articles that contain information about the problems in the various phases of PNPM’ activity, for example: a missmatched between program planning and its implementation, a program that being “marked-up”, bad quality of basic infrastructures ingredients, misappropriation of funds, and other technical problems. These issues can be human or nature cause.
  3. “Solution” information, news or articles that contain information on how to resolve certain problems that appeared in the PNPM activity. An example of this type of information is community’ active participation to overcome the shortcoming of developmental budgets.
  4. “Participation” information, news which contains information on various phases of PNPM Mandiri activity which engage public participation, such as:community gathering.

From the total of 2.278 compiled from each Radio Komunitasfor eight months, which has been classified into the major categories, the data can be elaborate as follows:













Nearly 86% of the topic contains general information ofPNPM Mandiri program on each region. This indicate that Radio Komunitas is not fully utilized as a tool to channel people’ aspiration. Or on the other hand, there are still some hesitations in the news contributor to expose several problems regarding the PNPM Mandiri. Another concerning matter of this figure is that the PNPM Mandiri program has not been internalized into the society to the extent of some socialization efforts still have to be done through Radio Komunitas to reach and informed the community.

There are also findings which illustrate how the Radio Komunitas’ manager based the broadcasting policy on the resource person. They have a tendency to trust a source that has emotional bonding to them and limit the publication of sensitive issues. These findings only justify our nature of avoiding confrontation.

Only 10% of the Radio Komunitas’ news have already brought up developmental issues. But most of these issues is technical, and no issue regardingabuse of power or financial embezzlement.Less than 2% of the themes, rose about the roles of each parties in finding solutions to the various problems that occur on their region. 3% of news themed participation that rose issues surrounding the role of society in the PNPM program.

From those results we conclude that the anti-corruption movement on Radio Komunitas is still a discourse that needs to be socialized. We need to educate people in Radio Komunitas to have a good understanding of anti-corruption movement so they can perform as an “agents of change”. Furthermore, we need to establish a solid legal protection to the Radio Komunitas’ performer to ensure their security and mantain their active participation in the anti-corruption movement.

 Resonance with Other Media

In addition to the broadcasting, to ensure a wider viewer of the anti-corruption campaign, the issue is also published via social media,SMS gateway, bulletins, public service announcement, and website By 2013, the Radio Komunitas anti-corruption movement received a positive response from the KPK. And since, intertwining mutualism has been established through anti-corruption media program named Kanal KPK A new information era is formed through both conventional (public meeting) and digital online media.

 Findings and Learning Issues

Analysis of corruption cases, inferred that the practiceof corruption in Indonesia was based on the following:

  1. by need               :fear of poverty encourage people to secure their financial position by all means
  2. by greed              :it was human nature that we always wanting more in our lives
  3. by design             : liquid regulations allows the growth of corruption
  4. corporate interests: foreign corporate tend to disregard public well-being in order to gain profits (ex: Minerba case)

There is no socialization regarding governmental development program to grassroots community. ThereforeRadio Komunitas’ role becomes important as a tool to educate and open people’ awareness of those programs. Hopefully with full participation of the community we can prevent the act of corruption in any public sector.

Radio Komunitas is bridging community to the implementation of govermental programs. It also process static data on the development program into informative form so thepublic and communities can digest the information more easily.

Closing Remarks

The anti-corruption movement in Indonesia is still being initiated through a variety of educational efforts, both formal and non-formal. Radio Komunitas can ensure active participation of the citizens, mediating an anti-corruption behavior, and developing a community which against any act of corruption. However, more work still need to be done in order to promote the values of anti-corruption such as honesty, bravery, transparency and responsibility. 

Thank you.

Iman Abdurrahman, the Indonesian Community RadioNetwork’ Coordinator of Advocacy.


1. Report Program of DISKUSI






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