A mother daughter duo and a news podcast

Updated on Nov 24, 2021 10:18 AM IST

Stuck inside all summer during the nasty old COVID-19 pandemic, all Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and her mother Lyndee Prickitt could do to feel connected to the world was report on it. And so Newsy Pooloozi, a podcast was born!

A mother daughter duo and a news podcast
A mother daughter duo and a news podcast

Stuck inside all summer during the nasty old COVID-19 pandemic, all Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and her mother Lyndee Prickitt could do to feel connected to the world was report on it. And so Newsy Pooloozi, a podcast was born!

In a candid chat, they spill the beans on their initiative to connect to the world via a podcast.

What inspired you to do a children’s news podcast which is a very rare thing?

Leela: Both my parents are journalists so if I wanted a say in the conversation, I needed to know the news. Since the lockdown we were stuck in our Delhi apartment which is kind of boring and mamma over here was sick of baking, believe it or not. I started baking by myself too but that`s not anything compared to Newsy Pooloozi. I was a podcast nerd. I listened to podcasts at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and every time in between. We decided why don’t we start a podcast because even mamma liked podcasts but we also thought about what kind of podcast. A news podcast I had never heard of so I said why not a world news podcast. There are a few world news podcasts out there.

Lyndee: Actually there are a few children’s news podcasts but none of them are world news. Basically, it started as a lockdown project because being stuck in a hot Delhi apartment and being sick of baking what else could we do with our time and since Leela was such a podcast fanatic, when I mentioned would you like to start your own podcast, she was so excited that she literally jumped on the sofa.

Why did you name the podcast Newsy Jacuzzi?

Leela: We didn’t. Our family did, my dad actually recommended the name.

Lyndee: Because we wanted something fun the kids would like and boy they had fun saying it, Leela and all the other kids. All the kids correspondents and Leela especially love saying it and it fits because Jacuzzi is like a bubbling, whirling, swirling pool and that`s kind of what news can be too. It’s like all this news is bubbling around you. But we have changed and when we rebranded we wanted something equally fun to say.

Did you face any hardships in re-branding the podcast?

Lyndee: Well, when we found out the news it was pretty stressful. Yes, there were some tears but no blood thankfully, but there were some tears. We weren’t that emotional but it was stressful. It had become like a part of the family. It was something we created together and it was pretty emotional and also happened around the time of Leela’s birthday. It was pretty rotten. But you know, we just roll with the punches and now we are just figuring out how to get around it and so it made us tougher. It kind of showed us some life lessons, toughened us up a bit.

Leela: We banged our heads against the wall, kidding. I loved the name Newsy Jacuzzi. It also happened around my birthday and sort of came like a present, a horrible surprise. It made me tougher, I don’t know how exactly but it just did because I have gone through a hard experience so I think that if another hard experience comes any day now, I will be pretty okay with it, not thoroughly okay but I would know how to handle it.

What kind of news do you cover in the podcast?

Lyndee: We always start with the big news story of the week, which can be politics or whatever is current in the news around the world but sometimes its science because science is absolutely underplayed in the mainstream media and is absolutely fascinating especially to kids so we always love to have science stories, we call them the World of Wow. We also have ace stories that are arts, culture, and entertainment and in culture, we like to feature a lot of different cultural events, festivals. We do festivals whether it’s religious or secular festivals from around the world so Halloween, Diwali, Eid, the hungry ghost festival, you name it. If it is happening in the world we want to bring it to kids’ attention and that’s how we like to spread knowledge and information. We also do text stories and we also like to end with an oddball to keep you smiling. Yes, we also have a silly story at the end

Leela: It’s not silly, it`s educational

Lyndee: Yeah, it’s an educational story that’s a bit silly to make sure you end the podcast with a smile.

How has this affected your relationship with your daughter?

Lyndee: It is interesting because this happened during the lockdown when I also had to be her virtual assistant teacher so I was her mom, her producer, and her assistant teacher and at a certain point it became too much. I said to Leela I can be your mom, I can be your producer, your assistant teacher but I cannot be all three. One of them has got to go and I don’t want to not be your mother and out of these, she said the assistant teacher is out of the window. So, she prefers me as her producer rather than an assistant teacher because that was really becoming stressful. So, you know we had to find a new way of working and in some ways, it was interesting because as her parent I had to rely a lot on her. Usually, as a parent of a young kid, you are the one that`s always relied upon so there’s been a change in the dynamic where we have to work well together and you know what they say doesn’t work with animals and children now I know why. No, I am just kidding. In some parts, I am really tense but for most parts, it’s really fun and it`s for sure made us closer.

What are the future plans for the podcast?

Lyndee: Well, first of all, we are going to get some really cool merchandise. We are already getting it together. Some business cards, some pencils, some stickers, t-shirts because we are now Newsy Pooloozi so we thought why don’t we celebrate and maybe also add mugs and water bottles. We have two other bits of information we would like to share. We have just signed some contracts with some really interesting and totally different companies. One is ‘DIY.org’, they produce educational training videos for kids and we are about to be doing their ‘How to make a podcast’ video series for them and that’s exciting. The second thing is that our content every week is going to be licensed and going to be taken for a program that helps children learn how to read called `Listen wise’. They are based in America and work with 1000 of schools and they want some of our content so that they can help the kids be interested in world events, so those are some exciting things coming on the horizon for us.

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