Journalist Hilde Kate Lysiak is facing backlash after she reported a homicide in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, on Saturday afternoon â and beat all her competitors to it.
But what really got the public riled up was the fact that Lysiak is just nine years old.
On Saturday, the young reporter got a tip from a âgood sourceâ that a suspected murder had occurred on 9th Street, just a few blocks from her house. She then went straight to the scene to gather more information from neighbours and police officials.
Later that day, Lysiak published her news story, along with a video clip from the scene, on the website of her newspaper âOrange Street Newsâ with the headline: âEXCLUSIVE: MURDER ON NINTH STREET!â (Lysiak is also the editor and publisher of her paper.)
One person wrote: â9 year old girls should be playing with dolls, not trying to be reporters.â
Some even questioned Lysiakâs parents for letting her write about such an inappropriate topic: âDoes no one realize that this is a 9 year old reporting this type of graphic information! I mean, what parents are encouraging this type of behavior!â
Despite this, the young girl hit back at her critics with some strong words.
âI know this makes some of you uncomfortable and I know some of you just want me to sit down and be quiet because Iâm nine but if you want me to stop covering news then you get off your computer and do something about it,â she said in a YouTube video. âThere, is that cute enough for you?â (Be sure to note the button she's wearing in the video.
On Tuesday, the reporter also told the Associated Press: âIt kind of gets me angry because, just because Iâm nine doesnât mean I canât do a great story. It doesnât mean I canât be a reporter.â
Lysiak started her website âOrange Street Newsâ back in 2014, when she was seven, and has been reporting ever since. Her father, Matthew Lysiak, who is a former reporter for New York Daily News, inspired her love of journalism.
âIf you want me to stop covering news then you get off your computer and do something about it.â
Matthew told the Washington Post, â[Hilde] doesnât have a lot of fear. She just wants to get the stories out. And she really wants to report real news.â
Since the backlash, many more people have taken to social media to show support for the nine-year-old and her chosen career path. âPeople need to stop bashing this awesome and intelligent kid for doing what she dreams,â one wrote. âWhy the hell are y'all trying to stifle her when we need MORE kids, especially girls, to break out and do what they're good at, not what others think they should do.â
âYou are the literal future of journalism,â Washington Postâs social media editor Gene Park added. âKeep it up Hilde!â
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