For me as a kid, the news was quite a boring concept. Maybe that’s true for a lot many as well because when one says news, one imagines some anchors in their suits reading out the headlines of the day or a panel discussing and debating in out loud voices. So, in a rather innovative move to make news more appealing for the young minds, Delhi based mother-daughter duo have launched India’s first news podcast for kids!
‘Newsy Pooloozi’ is a weekly world news podcast started by 9-year-old Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and her 49-year-old journalist mother Lyndee Prickitt, who initially started it out out of boredom during the lockdown. With both her parents being journalists, she wanted to be a part of the conversation, she needed to know the news and stuff of what was going on in the world which was affecting her parents. Also, a factor was the family’s love for podcasts. So that made the inception idea for the project.
“One can’t run from the bad news right?” – says Leela in one of their podcast episodes that cover everything from Baby Shark to Black Lives Matter. Though most of their audience being preteens, news across socio-political events like climate change, racism and inequality are not shied away from.
The tone of the podcast might be playful but its production is professional as Lyndee, a Texan, had her journalism career with the BBC Radio in the UK. The podcast, she says introduces children to the news that mainstream media ignores. “For most adults, news translates to politics. That’s a shame. There are so much else happening in science, history, arts, space and more. It’s as if adults are only concerned about politics and the markets.”
They also hope to tackle misinformation, teenagers increasingly using social media and many more as a part of their responsible journalism and also highlight how podcasts can actually help people develop their language skills, increase their knowledge base and most importantly – be inquisitive about all that is happening around.
So their topics of interest range from politics to current affairs to science, animal kingdom, and space stories. “You can do a lot of science stories, in fact, we call it “Wow” because it is the “World of Wow”.
So, recently they just found a fossil of a whale with four legs. The comet that is getting too close to the solar system in 10 years’ time, that is some exciting stuff too,” Lyndee said to The Logical Indian.
The best place to record them is under the bed, wherewith all the carpet and material, the sound doesn’t echo, she adds. Though it’s just the two of them, and it’s a gruelling task, they have made it to 70 episodes and never missed. “Newsy Jacuzzi’ finds its audiences in Spain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan, with its biggest reach being in America and India.
It also has kids correspondents all over the world and about two dozen active correspondents, most of them in India and America. Three correspondents are in England, one each in Kenya, Taiwan, and Mexico respectively.