When a gruesome murder took place just a few blocks from her home in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, 9-year-old reporter Hilde Lysiak rushed to the scene. She had received a tip from a credited source and was the first of the media to arrive. Reporting for Orange Street News, a publication Hilde manages herself, the young journalist investigated and later broke the story online.
But since publishing this video and the corresponding story, OSN and Hilde have weathered some very harsh criticism on their Facebook page. It seems Selinsgrove community members do not approve of little girls following their dreams.
Hilde created a video—something like Jimmy Kimmel's "Mean Tweets"—to read some of the comments aloud.
"9 year old girls should be playing with dolls, not trying to be reporters."
"I'm disgusted that this cute little girl thinks she is a real journalist. What happened to tea parties?"
"This article, paper, whatever the heck it is, is a complete joke! Horrible."
The former mayor of Selinsgrove, Sean Christie, even called her work "sensationalist trash."
Like her father before her—he was a reporter for the New York Daily News—Hilde behaves like a professional journalist. She takes each message in stride, giggling quietly to herself. She even wears a big white button that reads, "I <3 free speech." Just in case her critics didn't quite get the message, she takes a moment at the end of the video to calmly respond to her haters.
“I know this makes some of you uncomfortable," Hilde says, "And I know some of you want me to just sit down and be quiet because I’m 9, but if you want me to stop covering news, then you get off your computer and do something about it.”
You tell them, girl.