When it comes to kids and COVID-19, Pinna is all ears. The New York-headquartered audio entertainment service is partnering with school-based publication TIME for Kids to produce a free weekly news podcast for children.
The first podcast episode, TIME for Kids Explains: Pandemics, launched today and is available online. Upcoming episodes will be available beginning in August, and each new episode will accompany content covered in the latest issue of TIME for Kids. (The podcast was originally slated for a fall debut, but Pinna and TIME for Kids developed the special pandemic episode in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.)
The podcast will feature TIME for Kids reporters interviewing subjects and presenting news in an interactive format. Different segments will provide historical context to current news, give kids suggestions for how they can get involved and highlight the importance of always checking your facts.
Pinna launched its eponymous app in January 2019 with more than 1,000 audio shows, podcast episodes, audiobooks and pieces of music. Targeting kids ages three to eight, the app is available in the US for iOS and Android.
The TIME for Kids podcast is launching at a time when there are not many kid-focused news programs. World leaders like Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg and Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau have held press conferences to answer children’s questions about COVID-19, but even as grown-ups have been glued to the news there has been very little kid-focused informational content beyond the importance of washing hands and social distancing. That doesn’t mean, however, that producers and broadcasters haven’t been busy making more content than ever available to kids in quarantine and working to keep development going despite the lockdown.