9-Year-Old Who Covered Homicide: I'm a Real Reporter

Hilde Kate Lysiak is unfazed by her critics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 6, 2016 2:44 PM CDT
In this September 2015, photo provided by Matthew Lysiak, Hilde Kate Lysiak poses for a photo at her home in Selinsgrove, Pa.   (Isabel Rose Lysiak)

(Newser) – A 9-year-old reporter who wrote about a suspected murder in her small Pennsylvania town is defending herself after some locals lashed out about a young girl covering violent crimes and said she should be playing with dolls. Hilde Kate Lysiak got a tip Saturday about something untoward happening in Selinsgrove, 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia. She went to the scene to get the details and, later that day, posted a story about a man suspected of murdering his wife with a hammer on her website, OrangeStreetNews.com. Soon after, her Facebook page and YouTube channel were clogged with negative comments urging her to "play with dolls" and have a tea party and questioning her parents' judgment in letting her do such work, the AP reports.

"It kind of gets me angry because just because I'm 9 doesn't mean I can't do a great story," she said Tuesday. "It doesn't mean I can't be a reporter." Hilde has run the Orange Street News since 2014. She gets help from her father, Matthew Lysiak, a former reporter for the New York Daily News, and her 12-year-old sister, Isabel Rose Lysiak, who handles videos and photos. What started out as a newspaper for her family, written in crayon, has become a community news source complete with website and Facebook page. In recent weeks she has reported on a possibly rabid skunk shot dead by police, several acts of vandalism, the many empty storefronts in downtown Selinsgrove, and the removal of a Christmas wreath from a building after several years. Click for more about her, and her response to her detractors. (Read more journalism stories.)

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