Eight-year-old Leela Sivasankar Prickitt and her journalist mom Lyndee’s podcast, Newsy Jacuzzi, covers subjects starting from Baby Shark to Black Lives Matter
Lyndee, a Texan, started her journalism profession with the BBC Radio in the UK. Then, she moved to India when she labored for Reuters. She has been residing in Delhi for the final 9 years. “Leela’s a desi girl though,” she says, “Her favourite food is…”
“…Rajma rice. And, idli. And, dosa,” interjects the bubbly eight-year-old. With each mother and father discussing information in the home (Lyndee’s husband’s a journalist too), the innately curious Leela obtained in their conversations. “She’d want to know why mummy and daddy like or dislike a politician,” explains Lyndee.
Lyndee and Leela began Newsy Jacuzzi as a result of they wished an exercise to occupy themselves after the pandemic prevented their regular summer season journey. “Stuck inside all summer during the nasty COVID-19 pandemic, all we could do to feel connected to the world was report on it,” they are saying in their website, newsyjacuzzi.com.
For the little ones
Newsy Jacuzzi’s a children podcast. Most of its contributors and viewers are additionally preteens. But in contrast to most children podcasts, Newsy Jacuzzi doesn’t draw back from discussing severe socio-political subjects like local weather change and racism.
“Can’t run away from bad news, right, mama?” Leela asks her mom throughout an episode that discusses racial inequality in the US. Lyndee replies, “As much as we want to, sometimes [we can’t]. Knowledge is power. We need to understand the problems first if we are to get anywhere near solving them and making the world a better place.” She feels it is necessary for youngsters to know the world. And, the podcast is an try to spark their curiosity for information — the nice, unhealthy, lovely and ugly.
The tone of the podcast is perhaps playful; its manufacturing is skilled. Lyndee’s BBC expertise comes in helpful. She and Leela have weekly editorial discussions. Then, they accumulate information tales from their Indian and abroad correspondents (largely kids of Lyndee’s former colleagues and a few of Leela’s pals). Lyndee then works for 2 days to put all the pieces collectively.
Lyndee, in accordance to the web site, doubles up the podcast’s ‘sound effects finder’ and the ‘big-story-explainer’. The first position, she says, was difficult for the primary two weeks. But it’s the second that’s extra attention-grabbing. How does one clarify subjects like Black Lives Matter or local weather change to kids?
“It’s tricky, of course. A lot of us have strong views, which we consider is the right one. We refuse to listen to others. But there are some basic tenets of journalism that you can follow. You try to report just the facts and say both sides of a story. The idea is to introduce children to news and make them curious and not impose your views on them.”
The podcast, she provides, additionally introduces kids to the information that mainstream media largely 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.”
The podcast, Lyndee hopes, can act as a groundwork for accountable journalism. “People are so turned off from what real news is. How do we spot fake news and misinformation? I think teenagers, who are increasingly using social media, should be taught this in school, perhaps as a part of their civics class.” Leela and Newsy Jaccuzi’s younger information correspondents are already studying this.
Some of those kids would possibly go on to turn out to be journalists. But Leela, as of now, has different plans. “I want to be a space scientist for NASA.” It is maybe a good concept to get away from the mounting issues in the world and head to outer area. “Sometimes I get scared of what’s gonna happen, reading about the glaciers melting and all that.”
The future may not appear optimistic. But as Lyndee says, “There is no running away from bad news. We need to understand the problems first if we are to get anywhere near solving them.”