The Scoops of an 8-Year-Old Reporter

Photo: Rob Gallop

For 8-year-old Hilde Lysiak, journalism runs in the family. Her dad, Matt Lysiak, founded independent newspapers in the ’90s and early aughts and reported for the New York Daily News. But The Orange Street News is all Hilde’s doing. In her small town of Selingsgrove, Pennsylvania, Hilde reports on the hardest news she can find–break-ins, robberies and tornado wreckage. When she’s ready to write, she settles down at a diner and outlines her story. Columbia Journalism Review reports:

Today was Selinsgrove’s sixth annual Ta-Ta Trot, a 5K that drew some 2,100 runners and raised more than $71,000 to fight breast cancer—a feel-good story, for sure, but Hilde wasn’t interested. There was hard news to chase.

Two days earlier, a small tornado had torn through town, toppling trees and scattering debris. The street along the river caught the brunt of it, and Hilde had come to survey the damage. She parked her bike, whipped out her Moto G Android smartphone, and started snapping pictures of downed branches and limbs. Then she walked up to a white ranch house and knocked on the door.

An older man with an ample potbelly answered, and apologized for being shirtless. With a mix of affability and confusion, he looked down at the freckly blonde 8-year-old standing before him. She had her pen and pad in hand. Homemade press credentials dangled from her neck. “Hi. I’m Hilde from The Orange Street News, and I was wondering if you could tell me what happened a couple nights ago.”

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