Hilde Kate Lysiak is in third grade, but she’s already scooping the professionals.
An amateur reporter, Hilde, 9, serves as the editor and publisher of the Orange Street News, a print and digital newspaper dedicated to happenings in her hometown of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
Hilde’s main beat is crime, and the Orange Street News covers everything from neighborhood vandalism to murder. In fact, Hilde beat her local newspaper in reporting the murder of a woman in her neighborhood after receiving a tip about police presence, according to the Washington Post.
The Orange Street News launched in 2014, when Hilde was only 7. In the years since, she’s been approved to attend borough council meetings, and developed her own list of sources, according to the Post.
So how did an elementary schooler become a small town’s go-to journalist? “I really like solving puzzles,” Hilde, accompanied by her mother Bridget Lysiak, told Good Morning America, Thursday.
Hilde’s father, Matthew Lysiak, a former New York Daily News reporter, used to bring his young daughter to the newsroom – and got her hooked on telling crime stories, according to the Post. Matthew helps transfer Hilde’s stories to her website, and her older sister, Isabel, 12, edits and posts her videos.
Neither Matthew or Bridget worry about their daughter on the police beat – despite social media backlash after Hilde’s on-the-scene murder reporting.
“Statistically kids are safer now… Hey, the police were at the crime scene,” Bridget said on GMA. “I’m really not too worried.”
And Hilde has a message for her haters: “If you don’t like my papers, nobody is forcing you to read it,” she told GMA.
The sentiment was similar to the one she shared in a video she posted earlier this week, addressing suggestions that she should “play with dolls” instead of chasing sirens.
Reading mean comments from her critics, Hilde said, “If you want me to stop offering news, then you get off the computer and do something about the news. There – s that cute enough for you?”
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The paper’s Facebook page has an impressive 9,600 likes – and growing – and the print edition is distributed at local businesses in Selinsgrove. Out of staters can subscribe to the paper for $14.99 a year. Just last month, the Orange Street News‘s site had 18,000 page views, according to the Post.
“Because she’s the only one doing community news, she’s developed sources who trust her to cover the news,” her dad Matthew told the Post, adding, “She’s really motivated.”