17 June 2008

The Voice of Free Indonesia

The Voice of Free Indonesia was established in 1946 and included news and commentary in both English and Indonesian. It was broadcast around the world so in that sense the announcers were required to have good English.

So, it is interesting to see some of the survivors of the early years lamenting about the lack of quality English language skills in the presenters and announcers of modern Indonesian radio. This lament took place at a talk show commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the Voice of Free Indonesia.

The Voice of Free Indonesia lasted a mere 4 years through to 1950 and was then incorporated into the Radio Republic Indonesia set up as the Voice of Indonesia. Sadly, only 4 of the original 15 announcers of the Voice of Free Indonesia remain alive.

This is an interesting part of Indonesia's history. Even more so when one considers that one of the primary tasks of the Voice of Free Indonesia was to ensure that the world new what was happening in Indonesia and particularly the Dutch attempts to restore themselves as colonial masters. So, perhaps in their own little way the Voice of Free Indonesia played a critical role in ensuring the continued independence of the new nation.


Anggara said...

hi Rob, thanks for the info, even I do not know about this. Shame on me.
so many comment arrive now Rob

Rishardana said...

Cool, RRI was very instrumental during the course of regaining independence back in the day.

I remember a lesson from PSPB (Pendidikan Sejarah Perjuangan Bangsa) about how PKI took over the RRI building to broadcast news that they have taken control of the government.

One of the thing Suharto and RPKAD always mentioned about his milestone was the operation to seize back the RRI building in 1965.

That really illustrate how important RRI was.

Rob Baiton said...


I often write that surfing the "net" although sometimes a good time waster it is also a great way to pick up tid bits of information.

No shame! Indonesia has so much history that some of it is bound to be unknown to many and known to but a few.

Comments where?


RRI is an important tool in a diverse but unified archipelagagic state like Indonesia. It is the easiest and quickest way to get your message out!

At least this was the case in the 1940's and the 1960's when television and internet and mobile phones were but the twinkle in some techno geek's eye!

Anggara said...

i see so many peoples now come to your blog and make comment

Rob Baiton said...


Nah, not really that "many"...I use a stat counter and the numbers are pretty low :D

As I have said many times before, although it would be nice to be read by more people the reality is that I write for myself primarily as a release valve of all the crazy stuff banging around inside my noggin.

Now, if people stop by and read me and get enjoyment out of thinking this bloke sounds like a real dill, then so be it :D