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9-Year Old Reporter Too Young To Cover Crime?

April 7th, 2016
Male Hand Spelling the Word News with Coloful Childrens Blocks on White Background

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Nine-year old Hilde Kate Lysiak is a reporter in her community of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. It’s her passion. She goes around after school on her bike knocking on doors and tracking down leads about what’s going on in her community … and she publishes it in her online newspaper, the Orange Street News .

She covers everything from mini golf at the local library to her dad running four miles every day for 600 days straight.

But her favorite beat — true crime.

After covering stories about vandals and robbers, she recently scooped the local papers and adult professional journalists about a murder that took place near where she lives.

That raised a few eyebrows. Not the scoop … but rather the nature of the story.

Now some people are criticizing her (and her parents) for allowing her to cover stories some believe are inappropriate for a young child, no matter how tenacious she is.

She received comments including: “I’m disgusted that this cute little girl thinks she’s a real journalist. Whatever happened to tea parties?”

She replied online and in an editorial she penned in The Guardian yesterday:

“For those of you who think I need to mind my place, I’ll make you a deal. You get off your computer and do something to stop all the crime going on in my town and I’ll stop reporting on it. Until then, I’m going to keep doing my job.

… I never began my newspaper so that people would think I was cute. I started the Orange Street News to give people the information they need to know. I want to be taken seriously. I’m sure other kids do, too. Grownups usually treat kids like they cannot do anything great. If adults don’t think we can do something, then it is hard for us to believe that we can. And then how will we have great things in this world?”

Separately she added, “There, is that cute enough for you?”

What do you think?

This is a story the Today show did on her last year, before this controversy (commercial originates with NBC):


Here’s a video of Hilde at a local meeting requesting another police officer be hired in her town:

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