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Hilde Kate Lysiak isn't here for your crap, internet. After the young journalist (and all around badass) posted a breaking story on a murder in her home town of Selingrove, Pennsylvania, 9-year-old Lysiak was treated to the coolest part of the internet: angry Facebook comments.
According to the The Washington Post, Lysiak reported the story in a professional, by-the-book manner, sticking to the facts and breaking the news before the local newspaper:
Reporter Hilde Kate Lysiak got the tip early Saturday afternoon that there was heavy police activity on Ninth Street. She hustled over with her pen and camera, as any good reporter would, and soon she posted something short online, beating all her competitors. Then, working the neighbors and the cops, she nailed down her scoop with a full-length story and this headline:
“EXCLUSIVE: MURDER ON NINTH STREET!”
The full story, which you can read on Lysiak's blog, was concise, to the point, and factual, but the Facebook comments on Lysiak's page were quick to label the story as "sensationalism" and "disrespectful." There was also a whole bunch of pearl clutching about how "inappropriate" it all was, and some admonishing of Lysiak's parents for "encouraging this type of behavior." (Lysiak's father happens to be an author and former New York Daily News reporter, which may explain where she gets her chops.)
While I'll admit that it is slightly surreal to see a child reporting on the death of a woman at the hands of her husband, the article was well-reported, and Lysiak seems to be pretty good at her job.
Rather than back down and "go play with dolls," as some of her readers suggested she do, Lysiak responded to her haters by reading their comments and giggling at them while R.E.M's "Everybody Hurts" played in the background, à la "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets":
What happened to tea parties, you guys?
Actually, my favorite comment has to be "You are nine fucking years old. Seriously. What the fuck is wrong with you?" because swearing at a nine-year-old girl is apparently more appropriate than that same nine-year-old girl reporting news that actually happened.
After wading her way through that pool of haterade, Lysiak had a crystal clear message for the naysayers:
"I know this makes some of you uncomfortable, and I know that some of you want me to just 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 the news. There. Is that cute enough for you? I'm Hilde Kate Lysiak. Thanks for watching. Izzie, shut this off. I'm done."
("Izzie, shut this off. I'm done," is now what I say at the end of the day when I turn off my computer.)
I believe that Hilde is the future, and has great things coming her way. Most adults have a hard time reacting with that level of maturity and poise when people say mean things about them on the internet, and I'm really impressed by her response. Good job, Hilde. Keep up the excellent work.