Pandemics and politics — a Wilton fourth grader’s point of view

Ryland Hunt, 9, works on his website, “Ryland’s Newspaper,” on a computer at home

Ryland Hunt, 9, works on his website, “Ryland’s Newspaper,” on a computer at home

Contributed photo /Kelly Hunt

WILTON — While some children might be treating their time this week as a near-vacation from school, one fourth grader has decided he’s going to join the ranks of the media by publishing his own “newspaper.”

“Ryland’s Newspaper” is actually a website Ryland Hunt built by himself, his mother Kelly said. Built on the WordPress platform, “Ryland’s Newspaper” includes what many daily newspapers have: news stories and comics.

Reached at his Wilton home on Thursday, Ryland spoke editor to editor and said he got the idea from a writing class at school where they talked about newspapers.

“I took it as an idea to make a real newspaper,” he said. “I made my first article about flattening the [coronavirus] curve. I had a lot of fun doing it. Then I made two more articles.”

They were about the presidential primary and the positive environmental effects of the pandemic.

Pretty weighty stuff for a 9-year-old, he was asked, but Ryland said he reads news stories from sources including the BBC, MSN, and the Washington Post.

Ryland said he found looking into flattening the curve to be the most interesting, but he is also interested in politics which is why he wrote about the contest between former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Ryland’s first comic — on staying six feet away from other people — is also original.

“I made that comic myself on Google Drawing,” he said. “My mom gave me the idea.” He said it took a lot of searching online to find a picture of the chicken feet.

Ryland keeps tabs on his page views. “Today I have 86 views from 15 people,” he said, adding his first day he got 117 views, although his mother said some of those may have been from Ryland himself.

At Cider Mill School, Ryland’s favorite subjects are writing and math and his favorite special is gym. In his spare time, he likes to play outside, work on his website and play with his brother. He used to want to be an inventor when he grows up, but now he’s not sure.

On Thursday, Ryland had not settled on a story for his Friday edition, but it turned out to be “What Is A Pandemic?” The comic? The importance of washing your hands.

Visit “Ryland’s Newspaper” at