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Kate Lysiak Hilde started her journey as a reporter when she was just seven.  Establishing a newspaper – the Orange Street News (OSN) – her first edition lead with the birth of her baby sister.  

Fast forward two years and Kate, now nine, is leading seasoned reporters to crime scenes after tip-offs from her faithful readership.

Saturday was no exception.  Kate received a phone call at her home in Selingrove, Pennsylvania, leading ehr to believe something untoward had taken place.  She rushed to the scene and spoke with witnesses and police before filing a story later that day.

Her exclusive turned out to be a murder investigation.  She ran the story under the headline: “EXCLUSIVE: MURDER ON NINTH STREET!”, detailing the conversations she had had with police officers regarding the ongoing investigation and a statement from a source who told her that a man was suspected of murdering his wife with a hammer.

“This is terrible, just terrible,” one neighbour told the OSN.  Another said, “They seemed like such a loving couple.”

Beating local official news sources to the story, Kate filed a video from the scene.  She told viewers: “I’m working hard on this ongoing investigation.”

In response to the story, Kate received mail from her readers. Much of it was particularly negative. In a video she posted to YouTube, the nine-year-old read out some of those messages.

“I usually enjoy your stories Hilde but this … Perhaps you are too young to understand the difference between decency/respect and sensationalism,” Sally Grouse wrote.

“Sensationalist trash,” former Selinsgrove Mayor Sean Christine wrote.

“I am disgusted that this cute little girl thinks she is a real journalist,” another reader wrote.

Addressing the camera, Kate fired back at her critics.

“Yesterday there was a murder. It happened just a few blocks from my house. I got the tip from a good source that I was able to confirm. Then I went straight to the scene and asked neighbours for more information. Because of my work, I was able to inform the people that there was a terrible murder hours before my competition even got to the scene.  In fact, some of these adult-run newspapers were reporting the wrong news or no news at all. All the while the Orange Street News was out covering the event. I know this makes some of you uncomfortable and I know some of you just want me to sit down and be quiet because I’m nine but if you want me to stop covering news then you get off your computer and do something about it.

There, is that cute enough for you?”

Kate’s father told The Washington Post his daughter “doesn’t have a lot of fear”.

“She’s really motivated,” he said. “She just wants to get the stories out. And she really wants to report real news.”

 

Image source:  YouTube

  • A beautiful kid but personally I don’t think she should interfere with real (murder) investigations…it could be dangerous and she doesn’t have the ability to determine what to do with confident info or instandly act on what she hears. This is something for experienced professionals.

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  • 9 yo is a bit young. A bit young to even be reporting on a murder! And yes maybe too young to fully understand what she’s saying. I don’t agree with trolling tho

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  • I am not sure where I really stand on this.

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  • I do agree that a girl of her age may lack some sensitivity… But with a little editorial supervision she should be able to continue doing what she likes.

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  • Haha his kid is fabulous! Love her response to her critics!

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  • If her parents are over seeing things, I’m sure they will keep an eye on her. Perhaps she reported to much information and that’s why people got upset

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  • Its very rude to say that she should be having tea parties and playing with dolls instead of following her dream and reporting the news. I think no matter what age you are you should follow your dreams and not fit into the box that others feel you should fit into.

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  • I am very concerned that she is going to be so casual about tragic incidents.
    She is going to lose her childhood years too soon.
    I hope she sought Police approval before she released the report. I don’t know the law elsewhere but in SA relatives of the deceased can contact SAPOL and officially request that the media not be permitted to release any details. I know of a case where this was done and ahered to.
    I also know of a case where a person was bashed and taken to hospital. The injured person was filmed by a TV crew and it shown on the News before the Police or Ambulance had a chance to notify family. They showed the victim being rushed into the hospital building which was less than 5km from the crime scene. A family member saw the report before the Police had a chance to call them. Known family is supposed to be notified before the media release details to the public.

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  • So long as her parents are overseeing her activities and are okay with it, I don’t have a problem with her reporting the local news.

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  • Perhaps some of the criticisms may relate to a 9yo’s comprehension of things such as confidentiality and other legal issues surrounding media reportage of serious crimes. If she wants to prove herself as a long term viable reporter, maybe she could undertake suitable studies. She certainly has a long career ahead of herself if stays determined and well supported.

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  • It’s great that she wants to report real news but I do understand that the general adult expectation of a nine year old would be to report on far less serious matters than a suspected murder. I would hope that her parents are accompanying her to these crime scenes as there could be some rather distressing finds that most adults would want to prevent their children from witnessing.

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