Published: 03rd November 2021
Here's why Jacuzzi sued this nine-year-old over her news podcast
A mother-daughter duo, Lyndee and Leela, run Newsy Pooloozi, a news podcast exclusively for children. Here's everything about them
A little over a decade from today, Leela Sivasankar Prickitt may attend job interviews with potential employers. And her mother, Lyndee Prickitt, is quite confident that her now nine-year-old will have an interesting answer if the interview board asks her if she's adaptable. The story may be a bit dated though. However, it is Leela's lived experience.
Leela and Lyndee, a mother-daughter duo from New Delhi, were recently sent a legal notice by Jacuzzi Brands LLC, the tub manufacturer from California. The reason? They ran a weekly kid-friendly news podcast called Newsy Jacuzzi. "We did not want to go to court to fight the case. They did not want us to use their name in the podcast and thought that the name confused people," says Lyndee. "But I don't think someone who is looking to buy a hot tub would listen to our podcast and get confused. Or people would walk into a jacuzzi store, looking for the links to our podcast," she laughs.
Even though they were disheartened initially, the duo decided to revamp their podcast. After all, the next episode was due to be out that following Wednesday. "We decided to try our luck with names around the 'News Pool'," says Lyndee, who has worked in a few big news organisations in the past. And there it was, their new name that the podcast now goes by —Newsy Pooloozi.
The podcast is a year and a half old and features everything newsy. But it is curated for children in a way that incidents are sensitised and do not trigger their emotions. It features a major news story that holds prominence that week and is followed by a few other news stories.
"We started the podcast during the lockdown when we were trapped in a hot Delhi apartment," says Leela. Lyndee adds, "For years, we kept her away from the news. Then, the protests happened in Delhi and that affected me quite personally. Leela, at that time, was wondering what was happening and why she couldn't have a playdate. Then, the pandemic happened and the George Floyd incident followed. There was no keeping the news away from her then. At that time, I found myself slowly explaining things in an easy-to-understand way." That way, the duo, who loves listening to podcasts, thought of creating one of their own.
The podcast has been well received and Lyndee and Leela have a sizeable number of children listening to it. The best part, a few of them have joined as kid correspondents too. Now, with the lockdown lifted, Leela is back to school. However, she makes it a point to attend edit meetings with her mother and record her podcasts to release them every Wednesday. And for how long will it go on? "Forever!" she yells without wasting a second.