Orange Street News

10-year-old reporter scoops newspapers on homicide, publishes book based on her adventures

Hilde Lysiak, 10, interviews a Hurricane Maria survivor for her self-published newspaper, the Orange Street News, in Selinsgrove, Pa., Oct. 25, 2017. (Mark Makela/The New York Times)

An intrepid 10-year-old named Hilde Lysiak is making a name for herself as an investigative journalist who has scooped major publications on a homicide case, a budding newspaper publisher — and now as a children’s author whose books detail her precocious adventures.

Former New York Daily News reporter Matthew Lysiak, Hilde’s father, said that his daughter had expressed interest in his work from a young age, and that by age 6 she had begun covering family events in articles she wrote using crayons. But after she decided that these articles weren’t “getting me anywhere,” Hilde said that she got her dad to handle print and layout of a “real” newspaper that she would do reporting and writing for herself. Hilde began riding around on her bike asking people on her block and local neighborhood about anything worth reporting.

Hilde Lysiak, 10, out delivering her self-published newspaper, the Orange Street News, in Selinsgrove, Pa., Oct. 25, 2017. (Mark Makela/The New York Times)

In 2016, the then 9-year-old heard about a local homicide from a source a few blocks from her home. She confirmed the story with police then went to the crime scene, where she interviewed neighbors and published a story about the murder hours before reporters from other outlets even made it to the scene of the crime. Not everyone was impressed. In wake of the article, people began posting critical comments on her website, telling her that a “cute” little girl should be playing with dolls instead of reporting on murders.

“I think a lot of adults tell their kids they can do anything, but at the end of the day don’t actually let them do anything,” responded the young reporter.

Hilde’s newspaper, The Orange Street News, now has print circulation of nearly 600 readers, and hundreds of thousands of online views. Children’s books she’s written about her adventures with help from her father are being published by Scholastic, and optioned by Paramount TV and Anonymous Content for a TV series. And according to Hilde, she’s just getting started.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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