Kid reporter from midstate now lives in Arizona town where she made news
This November 2018 photo provided by WordPress.com/Automattic shows Hilde Lysiak in Selinsgrove, Pa. The 12-year-old reporter who made national headlines for her confrontation with a marshal in an Arizona border town of Patagonia will now be able to report there permanently. (Stebs Schinnerer/WordPress.com/Automattic via AP)
(Phoenix) — A tenacious 12-year-old reporter who made national headlines for her confrontation with a marshal in an Arizona border town will now be able to report there permanently.
Hilde Kate Lysiak’s family moved from their Pennsylvania home in Snyder County earlier this week to Patagonia. But the young journalist isn’t interested in drawing more attention.
“As a reporter I think I should report the news, not be in the news,” Hilde Kate Lysiak said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press.
Lysiak announced the move in a “goodbye” editorial Monday on her online newspaper, Orange Street News.
“This wasn’t my choice. I didn’t ask for this move,” she wrote. “However, I’m not slumping my shoulders. I intend (on) making the most of the move and use it as an opportunity to grow.”
Lysiak said she plans to shift from covering local crime to more investigative pieces with “national interest.” She also offered a full refund to subscribers.
Her father, Matthew Lysiak, confirmed that his daughter was not happy about the move. But he has no doubt she’ll make the most of it as an opportunity to hone her reporting skills.
“She has something deep inside her that drives her. It’s just unique to her,” Matthew Lysiak said in a telephone interview. “I wish I could take more credit for this.”
He and his wife had been wanting to move to southern Arizona for some time.
A former reporter for the New York Daily News, he first fell in love with the landscape while covering the shooting of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords in Tucson in 2011. In the last few years, the family — which includes three other daughters — has vacationed in Patagonia for three months out of the year.
It was during one of those vacations last February that Hilde Lysiak was stopped by a marshal while chasing a news tip on her bicycle. She filmed part of the interaction, in which she asks the marshal why he said she “could be thrown in juvie.” The marshal goes on to warn her against interfering even if she is a member of the media.
The video’s posting led to social media slamming the marshal and praising Hilde Lysiak for standing up for press freedom. She later received an apology from the town’s mayor.
Hilde Lysiak first made a name for herself in 2014 when she established an online newspaper for her hometown of Selinsgrove, the Orange Street News. In 2016, the then 9-year-old was the first to break news of a homicide in her neighborhood.
The youngest member of the Society of Professional Journalists, she also gave the commencement speech at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media in May.