Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Nine-year-old reporter scoops "grown-up" journalists

Selinsgrove, PA, has about 5,000 residents. Their only local paper is the Orange Street News, which Hilde Kate Lysiak (pictured below) started two years ago when she was seven, using crayons. At first it was a family paper, and her first exclusive story featured the birth of her baby sister, but within a year she was covering borough council meetings. That's when the Columbia Journalism Review featured her in an article which asked, "Is this 8-year-old's newspaper better than yours?" Her Orange Street News now has a Web site, Facebook page and YouTube channel, where her 12-year-old sister handles photos and videos.

                                                                                                             Isabel Rose Lysiak via AP
People in Selinsgrove know Hilde, and that's why someone gave her a tip last weekend which she was able to confirm with law enforcement. Under the headline EXCLUSIVE: MURDER ON NINTH STREET! she wrote that a man allegedly murdered his wife with a hammer and police were not yet releasing details. When she posted the story and video clip on the Orange Street News Web site (hours before other media reached the scene), her Facebook page and YouTube channel quickly clogged with negative comments. "Nine-year-old girls should be playing with dolls, not trying to be reporters," one person wrote. "Whatever happened to tea parties?" asked another. But the criticism did not discourage her. Will she write a follow-up story about the murder. "You'll have to see the next issue of the Orange Street News," she says. To do that, click on

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