My favorite journalist Hilde Lysiak, the 10-year-old crime reporter from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania who scooped local reporters on a murder story last year, has now earned herself a New York Times profile.
The profile focuses on Lysiak’s four-book deal with Scholastic, which is based on her real-life reporting experience leading her publication Orange Street News, and the fact that her life story has also been optioned for a television series. In her interview with the Times she displays some of her signature excellent attitude, which Jezebel strongly endorses, telling the paper “I think a lot of adults tell their kids they can do anything, but at the end of the day don’t actually let them do anything.” Her admirable strategy for sniffing out tips is just biking around, asking people if anything strange is going on.
Lysiak’s newspaper and its coverage has expanded since she first made headlines in 2016. The Times reports that her print circulation has gone from just a few dozen people to 600 print subscribers, plus “hundreds of thousands of online views.” But I also learned from the piece that she’s gone the route of many a print and digital publication these days by, you guessed it, incorporating video:
Ms. Lysiak uses some of this money to pay her 13-year-old sister Izzy $25 a week to be her videographer. She credits her older sibling with making her paper a multimedia operation.
Is any digital outlet exempt from the demands of video?!
The good news is, beyond the fact that she’s already a terrifying superstar with a book and television deal and will undoubtedly rule New York media in just a decade or so, Lysiak’s town is actually starting to take her seriously:
“There are a lot of people in town that don’t like her,” Mr. Lysiak said. “ They want her writing stories about parades and promoting the town. But no, Hilde wants to report crime and scandal when she finds it.”
In response to her neighbors’ wariness, Ms. Lysiak added, “It makes me think I’m a good journalist.”
You are, Hilde! We salute you!