When nine-year-old reporter Hilde Lysiak from Pennsylvania got a tip that there had been a murder on her street, her first instinct was to go to the scene of the crime. But some adults are saying that she should be playing with dolls and having tea parties instead. Lysiak, however, couldn’t care less about their opinions.
Lysiak, a third-grader and the daughter of former New York Daily News reporter Matthew Lysiak, runs her own news site called the Orange Street News along with her older, fifth-grader sister Izzy. Together, they report on local news from their community of 5,000 people in Selinsgrove, PA. They’ve covered city council meetings, reports of vandalism, and they even have an advice section. But it wasn’t until recently that Lysiak started covering some harder news.
It was on Saturday afternoon that Lysiak got the tip about the police investigation. Presumably hitting the scene with a parent, she reported the scene thoroughly—including all the disturbing details about the crime. “The Orange Street News is withholding the name of the victim to make sure friends and family are told first,” she wrote. Her story went up on the Orange Street News hours before the competition’s.
But some community members of Selinsgrove didn’t seem to appreciate her journalistic drive. They took to Facebook on Saturday night, spewing negative comments about her coverage. “I think this is appalling that u would do a story like this when all the facts are not in yet,” one person wrote. “9 year old girls should be playing with dolls, not trying to be reporters,” said another. The town’s former mayor even called it “sensationalist trash.”
Unfazed by her haters, Lysiak responded with a video in which she reads her comments aloud and gives everyone a piece of her mind. “I know this makes some of you uncomfortable, and I know some of you want me to sit down and be quiet because I’m nine,” she says. “But if you want me to stop covering news, then you get off your computer and do something about the news. There. Is that cute enough for you?”
Well said! Don’t let the haters keep you from playing the game, girl.