Shweta Nair aims to revive the good habit of reading with her children’s newspaper, News Shuttle
According to a study published in the Journal of the International Child Neurology Association (JICNA) last year, screen dependency syndrome (SDD) has become a new challenge for child neurology. It is a growing problem in India as well. Sometimes, parents try to address this issue, but sometimes they feel really helpless. Though a bit of screen time is important in today’s dynamic and digital age, but we can always have a better alternative for the source of information, entertainment, knowledge, and learning for kids.
To address this issue, Shweta Nair, a content writer, social media marketer and most importantly, a mom to two boys decided to come up with a newspaper that is exclusively crafted for children in the age group of 6 to 14 years. News Shuttle is full of information, news, views from across the world, facts and figures, puzzles, creative corner, and much more. It also gives a platform for children to showcase their talent. The content is carefully curated and crafted by parents who know what children of this age like to read and should read. This newspaper is what the kids will enjoy reading and learning from as well in different innovative ways.
And, who else better than Shweta to tell us about the endeavor and how she conceptualized the idea. We spoke with her in depth to know about more about NewsShuttle.
Shweta believes in, ‘Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over, she became a butterfly.’ She is truly a believer in the fact that learning is a never-ending process, learn –unlearn and then learn again!
[BV]: Tell us about your professional journey/endeavors so far.
[Shweta]: I am a mom to energetic, vivacious young boys and parenting experiences have made my life journey richer and beautiful. Prior to News Shuttle, I have been freelancing for clients for their social media and content writing needs. Have also been fortunate to have a corporate experience of 10 years, in diverse fields of training and operations.
[BV]: Why and How did you conceptualize News Shuttle?
[Shweta]: Being a parent of curious kids was the reason behind creating News Shuttle. Often my elder son would ask questions when he caught hold of a normal daily newspaper, questions that I thought could not be best explained to someone of his age. Rather, the right news in the right form should reach kids of their age in a kid-friendly tone. To dissipate and distribute information that is not only enjoyable to kids of this age but inculcates good habits of learning and reading were the main reasons why News Shuttle happened.
[BV]: What is so different about News Shuttle that parents will be tempted to Subscribe?
[Shweta]: Unique content, Global approach and the desire to give kids a complete package of knowledge and entertainment are some of the many reasons why I guess parents would be tempted to Subscribe to this newspaper for their kids.
[BV]: How did you formulate the pricing model?
[Shweta]: Deciding on the pricing model was simple. We, simply thought as a parent, how much would we pay for a newspaper that is full of fun activities and what’s new in the world. And felt that it was reasonable to price it at the current pricing, to further promote reading, we reduced the cost for our early subscribers.
[BV]: Who is your target audience and How are you marketing NS to them?
[Shweta]: News Shuttle wishes to reach kids from the age group of 6 to 14 years. Firstly, we are fortunate that our customers are spreading a word across. And secondly, we are also reaching out to schools for their opinion and subscriptions.
We are hoping to reach all places, where a child could visit and have free time. In places like resorts, doctor’s clinic, or a Salon, where often we see parents handing over a mobile /gadget to their kids, we would prefer they have this in hand.
[BV]: Tell us about some of the challenges you are facing and How did you overcome them?
[Shweta]: Challenges certainly add flavors and all startups must be geared up for this! Currently, our first challenge to be accepted by a larger audience, for which we feel that it is achievable. We are truly passionate about this and know that once they parents or child get hold of one copy of News Shuttle, there is no looking back.
The other challenge which is fun to overcome is to ensure that the kids get updated knowledge of the country and global. The way we overcome is by researching and tailor writing each piece to present it to our young audience.
[BV]: How do you come up with the content for News Shuttle every month?
[Shweta]: Thorough research, discussion with parents and kids of this age group and an attempt to collate practical information that they would need in their lives forms the basis of our content.
Be it talking about what money is or how banks function to why taking care of their own eyes is essential, we are trying to touch on a wide variety of topics.
[BV]: Who are your competitors?
[Shweta]: Robin Age, Kids Age are few companies into a similar spectrum. I would not wish to call them competitors, as they are also trying to reach the young audience and perhaps bring about a change of making kids more equipped with the best in class knowledge. And making an attempt to not let them become a slave to technology.
[BV]: As a woman entrepreneur, how do you balance your personal and professional lives?
[Shweta]: Well, that is a challenge that surprises most women each day! We are awesome multi taskers and something that one is so passionate about creates time for itself.
[BV]: How can people get involved in your endeavor?
[Shweta]: The more the merrier! If you think you can contribute to our journey in any way, simply write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach our facebook page or website.
[BV]: What are your future plans for NS?
[Shweta]: We are reaching out to different States, to different schools, hobby centers, hostels and places, where the reach is limited and sometimes kids may miss out on what is happening at present.
We appreciate and applaud Shweta for her noble endeavor in providing our young generation a platform to read, learn, engage and educate themselves with relevant and the right information for their age.