Nine-year-old Reporter Breaks Story, Takes Names, Kicks Ass
April 5, 2016 10:30 AM   Subscribe

Hilde Kate Lysiak has journalism in her blood. Her father was a reporter for the New York Daily News before the family moved to Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Hilde realized that her new town had no newspaper, so like any enterprising 7-year-old, she founded the Orange Street News (her first story was about the birth of her baby sister Juliet). She covers all the bases, with all-caps headlines about the Selinsgrove vandal striking again, a possibly rabid skunk, and an advice column by her older sister Isabel. Then Hilde broke a story about a murder on Ninth Street (beating the local area paper's story by several hours), and the big papers came calling.

The online comments were predictably terrible, but Hilde refused to take crap from anyone.
posted by Etrigan (109 comments total) 115 users marked this as a favorite
 
I would happily adopt her as my newest grandchild, yes! Thank you for the story, Etrigan!
posted by infini at 10:31 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kids on the street! Kids on the beat ! Beat kids! beat kids!
posted by oh.ghoulin at 10:34 AM on April 5, 2016 [35 favorites]


Needs more Harriet the Spy references.
posted by sleeping bear at 10:39 AM on April 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hilde for debate moderator.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:40 AM on April 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


“I got a good tip from a source and I was able to confirm it.”

I LOVE nine year olds kicking ass and taking names.

To all you lame adult haters: NEENER NEENER BOO BOO!!!!
posted by crazylegs at 10:43 AM on April 5, 2016 [17 favorites]


THIS IS AWESOME
posted by glaucon at 10:43 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


WHAT GLAUCON SAID
posted by brundlefly at 10:50 AM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Please can we start a vlog movement where little girls wear cat shirts and laugh while reading a list of mean things other people [and ADULTS] have said to them?

Because girls get that shit even without internet fame and this seems like a pretty boss way to handle it.
posted by phunniemee at 10:51 AM on April 5, 2016 [90 favorites]


Kids on the street! Kids on the beat ! Beat kids! beat kids!

As much as I like this story, I also appreciated this injection of Wonder Showzen-derived acrid absurdity
posted by clockzero at 10:53 AM on April 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


"Is that cute enough for you?"

Mic. Drop.
posted by brundlefly at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2016 [45 favorites]


Having a murder exclusive means you get to poke the body with a stick.

(I keed, I keed -- this is SRSLY AWESOME.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is a wonderful story all around (except for the murder part) and this girl is amazing. When she read the online comments with rolling eyes and Everybody Hurts playing in the background I lost it.

I hope she keeps it (or whatever she wants to do with this kind of enthusiasm) up and doesn't listen to the comments. I also hope she stays safe. She could investigate a story that someone doesn't want reported on. I don't think that should stop her - just be cautious.

Izzy, shut this off. I'm done.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


Kick. Ass. (typo in the URL for my last link)
posted by WCityMike at 11:04 AM on April 5, 2016


This girl is awesome.
posted by jillithd at 11:06 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Now we need her to become a mefite and show up in this thread... I never asked because i'm older than metafilter but is there any kind of age limit on here?
posted by infini at 11:06 AM on April 5, 2016


I just noticed she delivers worldwide. I have issues with PayPal, but I'll be sending check or cash of $14.99 along with name and address to Hilde Kate Lysiak so I can keep up. It'll be the first print news I've subscribed to in 15+ years. Judging by what's already on the site, it'll be money well spent.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 11:09 AM on April 5, 2016 [20 favorites]


:literally subscribe's to this girl's newsletter:
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:11 AM on April 5, 2016 [34 favorites]


From the last link
And last month, the Orange Street News website racked up nearly 18,000 page views, driven in part by her investigation of drugs in the middle school. I know some bloggers who would love page view numbers like that.

Wow! With all the local papers shutting down around here, I think this is pretty inspiring.
posted by chapps at 11:11 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


That is some pretty legit reporting on local council meetings.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:13 AM on April 5, 2016 [18 favorites]


As great and talented as Hilde is, you have to wonder what type of person feels the need to troll her online. At least she knows how to react. Eyeroll indeed.
posted by adept256 at 11:15 AM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's tempting to say that you should cut a 9-year-old some slack, and the fact that she's doing this at all is more important than doing it perfectly. But when she's writing things like The suspected murdered was a retired school teacher (which from context, apparently means the suspected murderer rather than the suspected victim) I think this becomes real enough that her accuracy, or lack of it, is a genuine concern.

She's got an earlier story that claims there's a drug problem at Selinsgrove Middle School. It includes a couple of quotes.

“A lot of kids are doing drugs,” one student told the Orange Street News.

“A kid had weed in his bag,” a witness said. “Everyone saw it.”

I don't think she should be playing with dolls, but I don't think she should be doing this, either, printing gossip and pretending it's reporting.
posted by layceepee at 11:17 AM on April 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


"WHAT GLAUCON SAID"

from First Dialogue, written by 9-year-old Plato.

"I just noticed she delivers worldwide. I have issues with PayPal, but I'll be sending check or cash of $14.99 along with name and address to Hilde Kate Lysiak so I can keep up. It'll be the first print news I've subscribed to in 15+ years. Judging by what's already on the site, it'll be money well spent."

I totally thought about doing this, too, but then worried that she's going to get an influx of subscription requests that she won't be able to fulfill.

This was all kinds of awesome. Except for the murder.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:21 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]




> layceepee: I don't think she should be doing this, either, printing gossip and pretending it's reporting.

I don't think that's what she's doing. I don't think she's "pretending" either.
I do think that it's totally uncool to diss an outstanding effort and example by a young woman like this for the most flimsy of reasons.

Oh P.S. Never go to a Gawker website - you wont like it at all.
posted by AGameOfMoans at 11:27 AM on April 5, 2016 [29 favorites]




I don't think she should be playing with dolls, but I don't think she should be doing this, either, printing gossip and pretending it's reporting.

Also from that story:
But the school admits that drugs are a problem.

In 2015 there were 31 juvenile cases and 166 adult cases in Snyder County related to drugs, according to Snyder County DA Mike Piecuch.

Cohrs says they are working hard to fight the drug problem including using drug dogs in both the middle and high schools.`

“The use of drugs and alcohol is not only a school issue but a societal issue,” Cohrs told the Orange Street News.
Printing gossip is basically the start of all reporting. She tracks down sources, attributes their quotes, and provides evidence where it exists. Is she Carl Bernstein? No. But she's not a junior Perez Hilton.
posted by Etrigan at 11:29 AM on April 5, 2016 [64 favorites]


condesita: Anyone notice that her reporter dad named her Hilde?

Hot damn! I was trying to place that name!
posted by brundlefly at 11:33 AM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


(her first story was about the birth of her baby sister Juliet)

Is that a conflict of interest?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:34 AM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


COLLUSION! #BabySisterGate
posted by brundlefly at 11:35 AM on April 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


you have to wonder what type of person feels the need to troll her online.

I'm going to go with "assholes" for an answer.
posted by maxsparber at 11:37 AM on April 5, 2016 [35 favorites]


Hot damn, this is really cool. Good grammar, too. I'm going to show it to my sisters.

I mean, I've fantasized about starting my current college/future career path earlier (mostly so I could have more of an advantage) but this takes the cake. I sincerely hope that she could be the greatest journalist ever.
posted by tirta-yana at 11:40 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hilde does seem pretty cool, but it sounds almost too good to be true, makes me wonder if it's true or someone is helping her out a lot. Which is fine, just be up front about it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:40 AM on April 5, 2016


I bet SHE wouldn't put Clark Kent on sports when he was working on a big Batman scoop.
posted by tittergrrl at 11:41 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Izzy, shut this off. I'm done.
I hope this becomes a Thing.
posted by ethansr at 11:44 AM on April 5, 2016 [39 favorites]


> "makes me wonder if it's true or someone is helping her out a lot. Which is fine, just be up front about it."

As stated in the WaPo article in the OP, she gets some help from her dad and sister:
"She headed home with the basics, wrote it out for her dad, who posted it on the website."
"She does acknowledge that her 12-year-old sister, Isabel, edits and posts her videos..."


But having her dad proofread/type up her articles and her sister editing and posting the videos is not unreasonable help. It sounds like she herself is doing the footwork.
posted by jillithd at 11:49 AM on April 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Is it weird to say a nine-year-old is my new role model? Because Hilde totally is.
posted by sarcasticah at 11:52 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


"but it sounds almost too good to be true, makes me wonder if it's true or someone is helping her out a lot. "

If you go read the town council reports, or the reports on local businesses, they're fairly credulous, in a way they wouldn't be if there were an adult working through her stories with her or coaching her on reporting them. She doesn't really contextualize the issues at the town council meetings the way even a 15-year-old kid would; she reports what's in front of her and relays quotes. I think she's basically what she appears to be, a baby reporter who knows what news "looks" like and is imitating the form very successfully while she grows into chasing the content. (She's doing a good job getting the facts; she just needs to get a little older and a little more sophisticated to start framing those facts for context.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:54 AM on April 5, 2016 [31 favorites]


If anything, I wish stories like this talked a little more about the parental involvement just because so often in stories about amazing kids, that's just an afterthought. And in fiction, adults are more often a hindrance to children's adventures than a help. But in the real world, as a kid, you can do way more if your parents facilitate it. When that happens, if your mom buys all the supplies for your craft project and she does the hot glue parts... that doesn't mean you didn't make it.

If this kid was doing everything alone, I'd have some serious questions about parents who let their kid run a blog unsupervised on the internet, much less that they let her investigate drug abuse and murder alone.
posted by Sequence at 12:00 PM on April 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


I totally thought about doing this, too, but then worried that she's going to get an influx of subscription requests that she won't be able to fulfill.

I thought of that but I don't care if I never get a copy because I'm still happy to support her. Now I'm wondering if I should include a note saying as much. I know I would have felt terrible as a kid (and now) if I committed to something and couldn't follow through which is totally understandable in this case and not a failing if she suddenly has a huge surge in subscriptions.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 12:02 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


> She doesn't really contextualize the issues at the town council meetings the way even a 15-year-old kid would; she reports what's in front of her and relays quotes.

Uh, that's what a lot of grown-up reporters do too. I think you may be overestimating the proportion of Woodward/Bernstein sleuths in the journalistic profession.
posted by languagehat at 12:03 PM on April 5, 2016 [20 favorites]


In youth fiction its not supposed to be trolls she battles, its supposed to be friends with hurt feelings. "Oh yeah!?! Well I'm going to start the West Sherman Street Gazette and tell everyone you stink Katie Lysiak."

Also noteworthy: at nine this project has been going on for a third of her life which is some kind of little person eternity. Moxie!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:05 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Uh, that's what a lot of grown-up reporters do too.

Geez, no kidding. Do we not remember Stephen Colbert's awesome speech to the White House Correspondents' dinner? It was only back in 2006.
But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works. The President makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration?

You know, fiction!
posted by Gelatin at 12:06 PM on April 5, 2016 [22 favorites]


When she read the online comments with rolling eyes and Everybody Hurts playing in the background I lost it.

If you didn't know, the music, weird little clouds at the bottom of the screen and the sarcastic reading of comments is all in the style of Celebrities Read Mean Tweets from Jimmy Kimmel Live. She's not the first (and JKL might not be, either), but she did it well.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:14 PM on April 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


Hilde?

That seems familiar. Wasn't there a famous woman reporter...? Better run this one down.

/googles furiously/

BREAKING: 9 Year Old Reporter Possibly Named After Famous Fictional Lady Journo Hildegarde "Hildy" Johnson?
posted by notyou at 12:14 PM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is very cool. I can remember a lot of fancy plans for doing great things among my cohorts at that age, but we were pretty slack about the follow-through....
posted by thelonius at 12:17 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Porn Hacker on Loose on Grove
Instagram accounts of local tweens are being hijacked by a mysterious hacker who has taken over several accounts and has been putting up porno videos.
“It is so embarrassing that people might think I’m posting these kinds of things,” Selinsgrove Middle School student Theo Feiler told the Orange Street News.
It wasn't me, Mom! It was a hacker.
posted by Kabanos at 12:18 PM on April 5, 2016


posted by layceepee I don't think she should be playing with dolls, but I don't think she should be doing this, either, printing gossip and pretending it's reporting.

If Hilde's reporting makes you uncomfortable and you just want her to sit down and be quiet because she's nine, and you think Hilde should stop offering news, then you should get off your computer and do something about the news.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:19 PM on April 5, 2016 [52 favorites]




"I think she's basically what she appears to be, a baby reporter who knows what news 'looks' like and is imitating the form very successfully while she grows into chasing the content."

I think you can tell just from the way they're written. At first I assumed that an adult (or her sister) was doing a lot of copyediting and maybe some substantial editing, but after reading more of the stories I think she's just a bit precocious in this regard. So, yeah, I agree that she's very familiar with the basic way that a story is written, the language used, because of her father and from practice, and she successfully emulates this at a nine-year-old+ level.

"If this kid was doing everything alone, I'd have some serious questions about parents who let their kid run a blog unsupervised on the internet, much less that they let her investigate drug abuse and murder alone."

She reads aloud on her vlog Facebook comments like this one: "You are nine fucking years old. What the fuck is wrong with you?", with bleeping. That and other things imply to me that her parents give her a lot of latitude. I find this tremendously refreshing in this overprotective age. I'm also pleased that the Washington Post was fine with embedding that video. She's publishing a tiny community newspaper and this is the first violent crime she's reported on. She's okay.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:29 PM on April 5, 2016 [24 favorites]


11-year old Detained at Boscov’s! EXCLUSIVE!

I love this: 11-year old girl gets held by manager at department store because she thinks she's too young to be walking alone without a parent. HER 8-YEAR OLD YOUNGER SISTER REPORTS IT IN HER OWN NEWSPAPER.
posted by Kabanos at 12:30 PM on April 5, 2016 [80 favorites]


"The family still shops at Boscov’s."
posted by Etrigan at 12:36 PM on April 5, 2016 [23 favorites]


OMFG HILDE LYSIAK IS TINA BELCHER
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:41 PM on April 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


The thing that really struck me about the murder story here is that the police told everybody at the scene not to talk to anybody about it.
posted by rhizome at 12:41 PM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


Hilde's like a real-life version of the protagonist in my NaNoWriMo novel from 2012. Does this mean I can get an agent now?
posted by pxe2000 at 12:46 PM on April 5, 2016


BREAKING: Kid Reporter Defies Police Gag Order
posted by notyou at 12:47 PM on April 5, 2016 [20 favorites]


So contrast this eagerness with the republished press release on my local paper's web site, that I put on Facebook and a friend observed "FYI that link is full of spam."

Yeah, if all she's doing is introducing typos into press releases and republishing them, well, she's doing as well as most local papers. The fact that she's actually doing interviews and going to city council meetings puts her way the hell ahead of mine.
posted by straw at 12:48 PM on April 5, 2016 [21 favorites]


Hilde?

That seems familiar. Wasn't there a famous woman reporter...? Better run this one down.

/googles furiously/

BREAKING: 9 Year Old Reporter Possibly Named After Famous Fictional Lady Journo Hildegarde "Hildy" Johnson?


Hate to break this to you, but you got scooped by condesita.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:58 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I would like to see her interview Donald Trump.
posted by Gorgik at 1:00 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would like to see her interview Donald Trump.

Judging by some of the comments she recited, Donald has already made his feelings known.
posted by adept256 at 1:02 PM on April 5, 2016 [10 favorites]


I adore her. Adore. And her sister. And her parents for supporting her and helping her do it. This is amazing. Go Hilde.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 1:03 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hate to break this to you, but you got scooped by condesita.

Curses!

Should have Ctrl-F'd harder.
posted by notyou at 1:03 PM on April 5, 2016


Her response to her critics reminds me of this old (and one of my favorite) promos..
More Miserable Cr...
posted by TofuGolem at 1:07 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ivan Fyodorovich: At first I assumed that an adult (or her sister) was doing a lot of copyediting and maybe some substantial editing, but after reading more of the stories I think she's just a bit precocious in this regard.

For comparison: Tavi Williams/Gevinson started Style Rookie when she was 11, as seen on MetaFilter when she was 13. Hilde is just ahead of the curve.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:10 PM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


If you didn't know, the music, weird little clouds at the bottom of the screen and the sarcastic reading of comments is all in the style of Celebrities Read Mean Tweets yt from Jimmy Kimmel Live. She's not the first (and JKL might not be, either), but she did it well.

I did not know and I like the style so I'll have to check some more of these out. Thanks.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:10 PM on April 5, 2016


Instagram accounts of local neonates are being hijacked by a mysterious hacker who has taken over several accounts and has been putting up porno videos.

This is the second instance of "neonates" I've seen in media coverage today. Is this being used in lieu of "children" or "boys and girls" now as a way to indicate a person's status by chronological age independent of gender?
posted by sobell at 1:13 PM on April 5, 2016


Are you using a chrome extension to replace words or something? It says "tweens", not "neonates".
posted by Kabanos at 1:17 PM on April 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


Are you using a chrome extension to replace words or something? It says "neonates", not "neonates".

And suddenly everything's much clearer. I'm using the Snake People extension. I'm guessing "neonates" is a side effect.
posted by sobell at 1:19 PM on April 5, 2016 [38 favorites]


It would be pretty neat if pre-teen slang had evolved to refer to each other (non-insultingly) as infants.
posted by nobody at 1:34 PM on April 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


First:
Great job Hilde, keep it up!

Second:
This would be the third or fourth thread here were I chime in to say that yes, some [6,13] year olds can and do write better than the average 'adult' that takes the time to post a comment saying no way they could had done it by themselves, surely their parents wrote it for them.

Instead, I am wondering why we (people who post comments, here and elsewhere, devaluing the kid's achievement) react like this to some things and not others.

I don't see many of these comments when we are talking about things like the 9 year old who landed her first 540 on a half pipe. 'No way she did that, must be a stunt double in a giant half pipe with a giant skateboard' or 'Booo! I'm sure she did not build that half pipe herself and steal the gear from a skate shop, surely her parents bought the gear!', and 'I am sure adults help her train and practice. This 540 is worth less than my morning dump!, which I've been doing by myself since the age of 5'.

But when the kid is writing, painting, film-making or coding (just the ones I can remember from mefi), it does not take long for someone to claim that they can see an adult pulling the strings, and thus achievement denied.

Do some of us really think that competently writing a 500 word piece is really that much harder, requires so much more maturity, than learning a skateboard trick?
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 2:02 PM on April 5, 2016 [24 favorites]


Neonates in that extension probably refers to vampires.
posted by corb at 2:11 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


(The question isn't whether it's harder to write a newspaper article than to learn a skateboard trick; it's that writing/painting/etc. -- unlike an athletic feat -- are trivially easy for an unscrupulous parent to ghost-write and present as their kid's. Not that I suspect that's going on here!)
posted by nobody at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2016


posted by Doroteo Arango II I am wondering why we (people who post comments, here and elsewhere, devaluing the kid's achievement) react like this to some things and not others . . . Do some of us really think that competently writing a 500 word piece is really that much harder, requires so much more maturity, than learning a skateboard trick?

For most American journalists, writing a 500-word piece is more difficult than riding a skateboard. Unfortunately, we've become accustomed to their incompetence so anything resembling decent journalism seems like a superhuman achievement.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:14 PM on April 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


Um yea that thing about police telling people not to talk to the media? Wtf??

She's doing awesome shit. Easily more investigative than anyone who was working at my last home town paper, which was pretty much just regurgitating AP and other news feeds into a layout. Lazy fucks.
posted by odinsdream at 2:29 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


To paraphrase Raising Arizona: I LOVE HER SO MUCH!
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:30 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


For comparison: Tavi Williams/Gevinson started Style Rookie when she was 11, as seen on MetaFilter when she was 13. Hilde is just ahead of the curve.

I think there's something here where kids these days aren't just being sat in front of a TV as they're growing up, they are being sat in front of a TV that is often composed of words. That this would give us a wave of literate children might not be such a surprise with this force acting behind the scenes.

This isn't to say that it's some sui generis evolutionary trait, because of course not all parents are TV-babysitter absentees, but the web is out there are people are being immersed in word-oriented media as a primary part of their childhood.
posted by rhizome at 2:40 PM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]


I can't believe I've been out eye-rolled by a 9 year old because I'm VERY good at rolling my eyes.

Her face after she says the bleeped out "fuck" while reading the comments made about her is everything I needed to improve my day.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:49 PM on April 5, 2016 [13 favorites]


I think, in general, people are skeptical of internet stories about prodigious children because there is a long and sordid history of parents exploiting their children for financial gain and exposure. So when given a story about a child with unusually exceptional talents for their age, especially those requiring higher-order mental capabilities, the needle of probability will almost always swing towards "scheming parent" because that is, all in all, more likely.

There is also pressure on parents for their child to be "exceptional" or "high profile" which can easily lead them down the road of faking (or heavily subsidizing) the achievements of their kids.

There is certainly no need to disparage the alleged achievements of children on the internet, but having a healthy skepticism is just reasonable.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:49 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


You should have a skepticism for the history that you're applying though, too. Yes, there is a terrible history of stage parenting and whatnot, but a lot of that occurred in industries where the parents' skills and involvement are/were crucial to whatever success the child achieves. With the emergence of the web, parents don't have to be involved, except in cases like this where they apparently provide mostly just technical support to the process and aren't required for the content.
posted by rhizome at 3:02 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Izzy, shut this off. I'm done.

That is easily up there with "And that's the way it is.", "Good night and good luck.", or even "Go fuck yourself, San Diego."
posted by CaseyB at 3:08 PM on April 5, 2016 [23 favorites]


having a healthy skepticism is just reasonable.

Having it is great. Feeling the need to express it... eh.
posted by Etrigan at 3:30 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


She should go national and report on child labor law abuses at the Haribo factory. I bet she'd have a neat angle.
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:55 PM on April 5, 2016


>Izzy, shut this off. I'm done.
I hope this becomes a Thing.


I'm thinking of adopting it as my official "meeting adjourned" tag.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:20 PM on April 5, 2016


/me sets email sig to "Izzy, shut this off. I'm done.", retires for the evening.
posted by butterstick at 5:39 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


On the one hand, I'm so impressed this kid has it so together at such a young age, doing what she wants to do on her own.

On the other hand, it makes me weep that she's the only reporter covering community news.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:24 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]




For me, the best part of this story is that she's already gotten a lot of push-back from Old White Men and internet creeps, and (with the help of a supportive family) she seems to be handling it nicely. I really hope (and expect) her to take this to heart, and to feel empowered to do whatever the fuck she wants for the rest of her life. If this story had broke when she was 15 or 16, I feel there's a good chance the bullshit negative feedback could have had the opposite effect.
posted by Anoplura at 7:14 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


A commenter calls her sensational? Her murder article is one of the soberest pieces on a murder I've read in years,
posted by gusandrews at 7:50 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


She should go national and report on child labor law abuses at the Haribo factory. I bet she'd have a neat angle.

Damn it, I love those gummy bears
posted by clockzero at 8:03 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I can't believe one of the critics (in her response video) was the former mayor. Surely the mayor knows better than to crap on a kid taking initiative like that. Boooo.
posted by chapps at 8:18 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]


I love her. She reminded me of myself at that age. I just did what I wanted to do and didn't care about what nine year old girls were supposed to be doing. Skepticism is good but I can easily see a nine year old doing this with minimum of parents help. It was reporting but I did what many consider more adult things at that age.

Starting around grade 2, I would decide I wanted to be something because of an interest in something. Earliest one I can remember was a 'ghost researcher'. I'd go to our local library, figure out where on the shelves books on the topic were found and over time look at pretty much every single book on those shelves. I'd start with the kid section but would look at ones from the adult section and see if I could understand any of them. I do recall checking out 'adult' books.

I set up an 'office' in my walk in closet. It was a little desk and a blank wall where I could stick thing on. I would read in my office. I recorded every book I read on a topic and notes about them. Then I would do work in other notebooks.

Halfway through age nine I decided I wanted to be a naturalist. Library visits ensued. I tracked down a couple of field guides my parents had on their bookshelf. I still have my 'work' from this phase in a box. I have notebooks where I drew leaves and plants, identified them and wrote notes about them. If I found them in an edible plant book there are notes about what they tasted like. The coolest is some full color drawings of every single tree and shrub that I could see from my bedroom window and sundeck. (I lived in an area with tons of trees) Everything is labeled. I went out and identified them all. This is neat but the best are the kid notes I added. "This one is good for climbing." "This is where X and I built the fort"

I did these things entirely on my own. I got help getting to the library and parents would get me notebooks if I needed them. Other then maybe answering a few questions here and there and taking me to a museum a few times during my 'archaeologist' phase I did things myself. I also had no qualms about talking to other people about something I wanted to know. I'd march right up 'Excuse me. Could you answer this or help me with this." Ended up getting solo back room tour of an anthropology museum from a professor that was working there on the day I was there asking my questions. I was a precocious little kid. Oh and my Dad did help me figure out who to call a few times when I wanted to find out something. I made the actual calls.

This was all pre-computer and internet. I can only imagine what I would have been able to do if that had been around at the time.

Go Hilde! Just keep doing what you like doing.
posted by Jalliah at 8:24 PM on April 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


For most American journalists, writing a 500-word piece is more difficult than riding a skateboard.


Indeed, we could also say:
For most Americans, journalists, writing reading a 500-word piece is more difficult than riding a skateboard.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:39 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is cool and it's not fake. Have critics read it? The writing is indeed like it was written by a fourth grader who was an "A" student, which is great but honestly there are lots of those. It's not even like you need permission to use the mimeograph anymore.

The ingredient most kids lack is initiative and the attention span to stick with it. Also, what's with a 12 year old getting along with her 9 year old sister? That's the unfair parental involvement if you ask me, raising a family like that. I was three years off both an older and younger sibling and we would never have been that supportive, just whiny and jealous if one of us got that much attention.
posted by mark k at 8:46 PM on April 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that kind of feedback would have crushed me at nine years old. I'm really happy to see that Hilde has the confidence and self-esteem to handle it well. She's going to be ok.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:48 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Damn it, I love those gummy bears

These ones tend to give people explosive diarrhea. Seriously.
posted by scalefree at 9:22 PM on April 5, 2016


posted by chapps I can't believe one of the critics (in her response video) was the former mayor. Surely the mayor knows better than to crap on a kid taking initiative like that.

Well, that's probably one reason Sean Christine is the former mayor. Good riddance.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:27 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


The conclusion to the Guardian piece:
Hilde is undeterred. When asked if she has a follow-up story in the works on the suspected homicide Hilde replied: “You’ll have to find out what happens in the next issue of the Orange Street News.”
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:46 AM on April 6, 2016 [6 favorites]


Jalliah, you are me. I also embarked on all sorts of solo endeavors as a kid that resonate with yours. :-) No help needed, kthxbai.

I relate to Hilde in so many ways and see her as a standard-bearer for smart, self-contained, curious kids everywhere.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 7:19 AM on April 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK, I think we as a society need to track down these critics, and punish them in a variety of ways, because there comes a time when you cannot simply ignore the boil, it must be lanced for the good of the body.
posted by aramaic at 7:55 AM on April 6, 2016


Yes, I’m nine. But I’m still a serious reporter. Hilde Kate Lysiak has an opinion piece in the Guardian.

[WARNING: Reading presents risk of serious burns.]
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:20 AM on April 6, 2016 [21 favorites]


Hilde Kate Lysiak has an opinion piece in the Guardian.

Well, now I'm pissed that my state primary already happened.
posted by Etrigan at 8:27 AM on April 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hilde Kate Lysiak has an opinion piece in the Guardian.

Holy shit she is awesome.
posted by graventy at 9:27 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


(I misheard the closing as "ship this off" -- like, "we're done, ship it!" Great either way.)
posted by brainwane at 10:06 AM on April 6, 2016


Hilde Kate Lysiak has an opinion piece in the Guardian.

"And so long as there is news to report in Selinsgrove, I’m going to continue trying my best to give the people the facts."

This should be the last line in every episode of the new Netflix original series that I'm eagerly awaiting, Orange is the News Read, right before the freeze frame, credits roll, and the Murder She Wrote-ish theme song.
posted by Kabanos at 10:16 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Capt. Renault : [WARNING: Reading presents risk of serious burns.]

Like this one:

Other people told me I should stick to tea parties and playing with dolls.

Maybe that’s what the “professionals” were doing while I was working the scene, because they sure weren’t there.


heh.
posted by chapps at 10:21 AM on April 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


Hilde has an opinion piece in today's Guardian.

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?
posted by progosk at 11:44 AM on April 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm offering my thanks for this post and a big thank you to Hilde. As I wrote about above she reminded me of how I was way back when. Since yesterday I've been thinking about this kid me a lot and it's brought me right back to a time when I felt so enthusiastic about life and just damn confident that I could just DO things that I felt like without worrying about all sorts of other social BS. At that time it didn't matter that I was a girl, or young and if anyone told me otherwise I would have eyerolled right along with Hilde.

This 40+ year old woman who has had a lot of that confidence bashed and battered as she grew and discovered how things are in the adult world needed this reminder. It's good to revisit these feelings and outlook. I actually feel much better today in a general sort of way.

So thanks Hilde and thanks young kid me. Glad to meet you again.
posted by Jalliah at 12:52 PM on April 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


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?


That also works if you substitute "men" for "grownups" and "women" for "kids." Good for her.
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:29 PM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Kids can do exceptional things and still be kids!

This is excellent.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:20 PM on April 6, 2016


She is gonna be something good in a few years, I tell you! Watch out ;)
posted by Krislarsson at 7:29 AM on April 7, 2016


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