In response to the conflict in Rwanda and the Great Lakes region, the BBC World Service established its Lifeline Service in 1994, broadcasting news and factual material from the United Kingdom gathered by its locally situated reporters in Rwanda, Burundi and the Great Lakes region.
The service, which is currently being supported by DFID, has a mixed format that comprises news, sports, human rights issues, tracing messages, music and a drama produced in Kigali by the NGO Health Unlimited.
The service was commenced in light of the clear need within the region for fair and accurate news and factual broadcasting.
Biased local broadcasters have been widely implicated in the genocide of the Tutsi that occurred in Rwanda, with the Hutu- run Radio-télévision libre des mille collines (RTLM) being particularly active.
To counter hate radio of this kind funding is increasingly being channelled towards media activities that promote free, fair and accurate reporting. Many such interventions are international in scope due to the absence of suitable partner organisations in country.
However, since it does not rely upon local broadcasting partners, the BBC is able to exercise its policy of impartiality effectively with little or no interference from external sources. The quality of its news is high.
Despite this, there are concerns associated with this type of international media response to conflict because little local capacity tends to be built through such interventions and they are generally not sustainable in the long term.
 DFID’s ‘Working with the Media in Conflicts and other Emergencies’ 2000