Leela Sivasankar Prickett, 9, and her mother, journalist Lindy Prickett, 49, started Newsy Jacuzzi because of sheer boredom during the lockdown last year. Little did they know, however, that their passion project – allegedly India’s first children’s news podcast – would receive a “stop and stop” letter from Jacuzzi, the global manufacturer of branded bathrooms, in September of this year.
In the letter, the company stated that its podcast “is identical to our corporate name and brand identity as such likely to confuse the audience and make them believe that your business, if any, is somehow associated with or endorsed by the Jacuzzi Group.”
Do people really think the podcaster duo sell jacuzzis? Do potential listeners walk into the jacuzzi shop and say, “Excuse me, where’s the kids’ podcast we want to hear?”
The spirited mother and daughter decided to make the most of the situation and completely renamed themselves “something bigger than a little Jacuzzi”. They decided to drain the Jacuzzi and called themselves News Pooloozi, “the news gathering for smart kids and curious adults.”
News Pooloozi covers all kinds of topics ranging from Baby Shark to Black Lives Matter. Lindy breaks down the most media stories from around the world to her nine-year-old daughter Lila to understand, understand and possibly scrutinize. Listed as one of the New York Times’ Top 30 Kids Podcasts, the duo covers everything – from science and art to sports and entertainment.
The mother and daughter team of podcasters crawl under the bed every week to record educational podcasts for kids. But why under the bed? “Because the sound is better there (and it makes us laugh). We live in India but have roots all over the world. Stuck indoors all summer during the bad old COVID-19 pandemic, all we can do to feel connected to the world is to report it. And so I was born Newsy Pooloozi,” they say.
“We’re also very passionate about getting people – young and old – interested in what’s happening around the world. We work hard to make the complicated things simpler, the boring with life and have as much fun as possible through our educational and family-friendly news feed for kids and curious minds in Everywhere,” they add.
According to Newsy Pooloozi, Lila is half Indian and half American and was born in Britain. “So, I travel with a lot of passports. But it also means that I can probably play football for three countries. It also means that I am interested in what is happening around the world. Since my parents are both journalists, the news is discussed a lot in my house” , as you say.
“So, if I want to get into the conversation, I have to keep up with what’s going on. And since the nagging pandemic means I’m not going anywhere in the summer of 2020, I thought, why not bring the world to me and start a global news broadcast?” adds Leela, who says she Also totally addicted to listening to kids podcast. Her favorites are Wow in the World, Eleanor Amplified, Circle Round, The Past, and The Curious.
Lila’s mother, Lindy, who is from Texas, started her career in journalism with BBC Radio in the UK. Then she moved to TV with Reuters in London, Singapore, Mumbai and then New Delhi. She has been living in Delhi for the past 10 years.
“I’ve also created an award-winning digital short story, and set the groundwork for immersive storytelling. These days, I mostly edit papers for think tanks and write for Monocle, Global Affairs and Lifestyle, when I’m not recording at night under the bed,” adds Lindy.