Equipped with a microphone, a smartphone, a computer, and some Internet connection, The Zeitgeist has rolled up its sleeve to create an alternative media platform to those Ugandans that cannot be hosted on traditional media.
The zeitgeist means “the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time “The spirit behind the show and the like is because we feel the spirit of the time is to have more engaging and accountable citizenry.” Samson Tusiime said.
The live show happens every Saturday at noon via http://mixlr.com/thezeitgeist/
With an internet penetration of about 10 million Ugandans and nudged by the fact that traditional media only uses the same old people on their talk shows, Tusiime Samson together with his friends; Mujuni Raymond, Kwezi Tabaro, Colin Asiimwe, Pru Nyamishana and Benjamin Rukwengye have put their boots on to offer that much-needed voice.
They believe that if only 10% of Ugandan Internet users can listen to their show, they will have a media coverage that is better than that of most media houses in Uganda.
On the show, a range of topics are covered; politics, policy, governance, entrepreneurship, arts and culture. They are careful not to host the people that have been in the mainstream media many times. Listening in to one of the shows, I was blown away by the depth with which issues were being discussed.
With the 9 talk shows so far, The Zeitgeist is quickly becoming a force to reckon with. It is highly interactive as analytics indicate that 900 listeners in August alone tuned in; with people from as far as Canada listening in. Eria, one listener who listened to the podcast from Denmark commended them on the awesome job they were doing and suggested to them what they could do better.
The Zeitgeist hopes to have a website that has an immediate transcription of the show, professional equipment that can make the work much easier, increase the frequency of the shows, and partner with mainstream media platforms so as to reach to people that are not online.
In light of the fact that the dynamics of information dissemination in Uganda have changed, social media informs conversation that mainstream media pick, this initiative is timely and is an opportunity for the youth to curate meaningful conversation.
“We are leaving in very interesting times,” Samson said “ in an era of great information flow. We must leverage this information and the available tools and platforms to make Uganda a better society.”