Most 12-year-old girls can be found spending their free time getting their nails done at the mall or taking a BuzzFeed quiz on which popular male singer they’d be the cutest with. You wouldn’t expect a spunky pre-teen to show up on the scene of a crime, following a tip on a developing story. Hilde Kate Lysiak is a 12-year-old journalist out of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania who develops stories on the events of her small-town community. No, this isn’t her side hobby, or a long-term project that one of her teacher’s have assigned. Journalism is this girl’s life.
Lysiak began writing as a kid, creating newsletters for her parents and siblings to read out of construction paper and crayons. After a while, the young writer realized that only writing for her family wasn’t going to get her far; she wanted to expand her horizon. So Hilde approached her father, a former reporter for the New York Daily News and continuing journalist, and together they began to plan her own newspaper company. Thus, The Orange Street News came to be one of Selinsgrove’s main news outlets, named after the street she’s grown up on.
As the papers sole writer, photographer, and reporter, Hilde covers countless stories in The Orange Street News. Each month, the young reporter and her family print 4-page, full-color digests that are hand-delivered to neighbors and distributed to businesses in her community. In addition, the paper now offers a subscription to get The OSN delivered to your door, no matter where you live. Not only is Lysiak writing her way into the hearts of her readers, but she makes a profit as well. That door-to-door delivery service earns her $1-$2 dollars per house. Just as well, donations are plenty when you’re a young person with a good cause.
Of course, being a teenage journalist comes with its own set of conflicts. In fact, just this week, Hilde was in Arizona, following a tip on a new developing story when she was stopped by Joseph Patterson, a marshal in the small town she visited. When Hilde pulled out her phone to begin recording the situation, the officer not only lied to her and said that recording him was illegal, but also threatened to throw her in juvenile jail. Of course, Hilde knew that the bully wouldn’t throw her in jail, and that she could record him based on the First Amendment that protects free speech, a right that she appreciates in her day-to-day life. Lysiak stood her ground and countered Patterson’s allegations with a simple question: “Yeah, so how is that illegal?”
The up-and-coming journalist Hilde Lysiak is a model for youth that want to get involved with not just the media, but the community in which they live in. Despite challenges facing her based on her age, the 12-year-old star is bound to make headlines in the future, in more ways than one. We can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for Hilde Kate Lysiak!
Photo: The Daily Item