A 12-year-old reporter, Hilde Lysiak, was the commencement speaker Friday at West Virginia University's Reed College of Media, urging graduating journalists not to be dissuaded by negative press about the future of their industry.

In her 13-minute address, Lysiak spoke about the pressure young reporters feel as they watch newspaper budgets face cuts and staff reductions around the country, while commanding them not to give up hope.


"You face a daunting task. There will be those just waiting for you to fail, and others who assume you were doomed before earning your first byline," Lysiak said. "Ignore them. They're wrong: There is another path."

She also urged national news reporters to find stories in the field, warning that the industry has come to rely too much on their inboxes for tips.

"I really try to be part of my community. I go to the local coffee shop, I shop at the local stores. How can you be part of a community from an office? That sounds like fraud to me," Lysiak added.

Lysiak gained national acclaim earlier this year when she was seen on video being threatened with arrest by an Arizona marshal after she filmed him. 

Video of her being threatened by the officer was viewed tens of thousands of times and led to the officer being disciplined.

The website she founded, Orange Street News, is operated out of her parents' house. She has reportedly inspired an upcoming Scholastic book series as well as an upcoming TV show.

Lysiak previously went viral in 2016 after beating other local news stations in her area to report on a murder investigation.