Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Fake news figures revealed; Walking the tightrope in Italy; Russia’s sneaky spy whale; and it’s State of Origin time! 


Italian tightrope walk record:

Russian spy whale?:

Facts about otters (for World Otter Day):


Kids + Media Survey Results:

Squiz Kids Book Club:

Classroom Companion:

Teachers! Want to access free, curriculum-aligned classroom resources tied to the daily podcast? Sign up to be a Squiz Kids Classroom and download the Classroom Companion each day. Made by teachers for teachers, differentiated to suit all primary school ability levels. And did we mention it’s free?


Get started on our free media literacy resource for classrooms

Stay up to date with us on our Squiz Kids Instagram!  


Got a birthday coming up and you want a shout-out? Complete the form on our Squiz Kids website. Link: SHOUT OUTS or / send us an email at [email protected]





We all love a good trawl through social media, right? Whether its Instagram, YouTube or Facebook, we’ve all at some point found ourselves getting lost in a scroll. 


So it will come as something of a wake-up call to learn that the top social media platforms yesterday revealed the number of fake news items they removed before they reached Australian eyes or ears. 


More than 300,000 YouTube videos were pulled down for containing dangerous or misleading information about COVID-19, more than 15,700 TikTok were removed from the platform on the grounds of misinformation and the company Meta took action on more than 91,000 pieces of content across its social media platforms Facebook and Instagram.


That’s a whole lot of content online – making untrue claims or outright telling lies – which happily none of us ever saw.


But while lots of misinformation was stopped in its tracks – authorities admit that lots more managed to sneak through the defences and into our feeds. 


It’s another timely reminder to always do as Squiz-E the Newshound says: and that’s to STOP, THINK and CHECK everytime we come across a piece of content online. 


Because it’s super important to not always believe everything we see, read or hear. Stop before believing it, Think about who created the content and why they might have wanted to do so, and Check with a credible source of information – be it a parent, teacher or a trusted news source – to see how likely it is to be true. 


And if your classroom is not yet among the 1200 around the country that have signed up to Newshounds – our very own, free media literacy program for primary school kids – then head on over to and get involved today.  


Thanks Squiz-E! (HOWL) ..and thanks for popping into the podcast early today! You’ve cleared room at the end of the pod for me to get my State of Origin on … 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Italy – where a man has broken the record for the country’s highest city tightrope walk.

With only a very long pole to help him keep his balance, Andrea Loreni walked just over 200 metres on a tight rope suspended 140 metres above the ground, between two high-rise buildings in the city of Milan.

I’ve stuck video of the remarkable feat in today’s episode notes. And by feat, i mean F-E-A-T – which is another word for achievement – not F-E-E-T – which is what Andrea used to walk across the tightrope … barefooted and shoeless, no less. 


Why? Because he wanted to bring attention to the topic of climate change … luckily the climate didn’t change mid-way through his walk to summon up a big wind and blow him off. That would have been awkward. 



It sounds like a something out of a movie. Or maybe even a great children’s picture book. But sometimes truth is stranger than fiction – and so it is with the news that a Russia spy whale has been spotted off the coast of Sweden once again.

What’s a Russian spy whale? It’s a beluga whale that some people believe has been trained by the Russia military to swim into the harbours and ports of neighbouring countries and collect information to take back to its mother country.

I am not making this up. 

When first spotted three years ago in waters off Norway, the whale was wearing a harness with Russian words written on it – and a special attachment for a camera. This week the whale was spotted off the coast of Sweden. So he’s on the move.

Russia has never responded to claims it trained the whale to spy on neighbouring countries … but sometimes things are just too crazy not to be true. 



Alright footy fans … heat up the popcorn, break out your beanies and settle in for an almighty clash of the titans as the first State of Origin match kicks off tonight in Adelaide. 

Alright, alright – when I say footy – I should be more specific, and say league. And yes, I know, to a lot of you listening out there, it’s not real footy unless it involves a Sherrin. But just go with me. Because to lots of us in NSW and Queensland, tonight’s clash between the Maroons and Blues is one of the biggest sporting events of the year. Will the Blues cope without Latrell now that he’s out with a calf injury? Will the shift of The Hammer into the centres to face off against Turbo be the master maneouvre that seals the deal? And most importantly: will any one single player or commentator be able to get through a pre or post match interview without speaking in garbled footy jargon. Like I am right now. 

And a big shout out to Christie – who has dug deep today pulled of a blinder with some truly excellent Classroom Companion worksheets on the subject of footy jargon. Check them out at … (WHISTLE) .. Game on!


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. In which Italian city did a man perform the country’s highest tightrope walk this week?
  2. In which Australian city is the first State of Origin game being played tonight?
  3. What sort of a whale is also a suspected – if unconfirmed – Russian spy? 





It’s May 31  – State of Origin isn’t the only sporting event on our minds today .. it’s also 50 days today until the FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand … oh, and most importantly, today is World Otter Day … easily one of my favourite animals in the world. 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today… Anthony from Ashmont, Sam from Albany Hills, Sarah from Forest Lake, Ehren from Gawler, Julian from Northcote, Harlon from Holsworthy, Rocco from Prahan, Alex from North Perth, Everleigh from Oran Park, Quinn from Yeppoon, Layla from Earlwood, Flynn from Sydney, Fleur from Wombat, Chad from Blacktown and Erin from Belrose. 


Belated shout outs go to… Stefanie from Wadalba, Sienna from Matong, Jack from Bulahdelah.


And today’s classroom shout outs go to… class 5/6H and Mr Curey at Wyee Public School, class 6H and Mrs Hayes at Carlingford Public School, class 6M and Mrs Mathers at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Oyster Bay, class 5N and Mr Nuthall at Livingstone Primary School in Vermont South, classes 3M and 4B at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School in Holsworthy and Ms Tully’s year 3 class at Chatswood Public School.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Milan
  2. Adelaide
  3. Beluga