It’s not uncommon for Brilyn Hollyhand to receive phone calls from politicians in Washington, D.C., from time to time.

What is uncommon is that the Tuscaloosa native is only 12 years old.

In the last couple of years, Brilyn has found a passion in political reporting and has started a website, The Truth Gazette, where he has gathered his own reporting and interviews he has conducted with politicians from Alabama as well as national leaders.

“I may not give it to you first, but it will be nothing but the truth,” said Brilyn, the editor-in-chief of The Truth Gazette.

Brilyn’s interest in politics and how issues are covered first started during the 2016 presidential campaign. Becoming interested in those areas, Brilyn decided to explore different issues for himself and report on them.

“After watching debates and seeing the election and inauguration, I wanted to be able to share the truth myself and I felt I could help the journalists,” he said.

Last June, Brilyn started an email newsletter where he would write about both national and Alabama politics. By February, he started his own website, which now has more than  800 subscribers.

“He handles everything on there,” said Brilyn’s mother, Leigh.

Initially, Leigh Hollyhand was worried about the potential negative effects having her son online could bring, such as derogatory comments from strangers. However, she said that negative interactions have been absent from The Truth Gazette even as it grows.

“We are going to let this go as far as it goes, as long as he wants to do this,” she said.

Leigh Hollyhand said that having the website around has been an indicator of the passion her son has for what he does. For example, the first time she got to see questions that Brilyn had written up for an upcoming interview, she and her husband could tell he was dedicated to what he was doing.

“We both thought, ‘We might have to help him out with this,’ but after reading all these kinds of questions he had thought, I realized this was a learning opportunity,” she said.

As part of The Truth Gazette, Brilyn has conducted several on-camera interviews with Alabama politicians, including Attorney General Steve Marshall, Secretary of State John Merrill, U.S. Rep. Roger Aderholt, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and others.

Some political figures have had to wait to be interviewed by Brilyn.

“They would be calling me during school sometimes,” said the Tuscaloosa Academy student.

Once he has done all the preparation and research that he can for an interview, Brilyn’s style remains simple.

“I try to ask all the questions that people don’t know,” he said. “I think the theme is trying to share the truth with information that has not been spread.”

In addition to finding and reporting on issues in Alabama, Brilyn wants his website to serve as a reminder that people can find the truth if they really want to know what’s going on.

“What I want to show is that I’m 12 years old and can still do the research,” he said. “If a grown adult says they can’t or doesn’t do the research, there’s no excuse not to do.”

Find The Truth Gazette at, @TruthGazetteAL on Twitter and thetruthgazette on Instagram.