Freelance Services

Data Consulting

Harness the power of data-driven journalism to elevate your newsroom’s investigative acumen, enterprise insights, visual interest and workflow efficiency. My services include special projects, support for beat reporting and capacity building.

Freelance Reporting

I love uncovering hidden stories, blending mediums to tell them just right, and explaining complex topics in simple terms. I practice both accountability and “solutions” journalism to tell the story of how public policies shape our daily lives.

Journalism Research

I believe it’s important to understand what promotes press freedom as well as what hinders it. As a freedom of information advocate, my research examines the conditions of “ripeness” for both strengthening and rolling back this essential human right.
Look helpful? I work on a project basis or on retainer.
Description of Services

Portfolio: Data Journalism

Percent phosphorous reductions required for each lake segment: The proportional percent of phosphorus reduction required for a lake segment may be quite different from the volume reduction required. For example, in a segment with low phosphorus loads, a small volume may represent a large percentage of that segment's reduction — and vice versa.

Vermont’s Lake Champlain Cleanup Plan, Explained

435 square miles of lake, 630 metric tons of phosphorus and one controversial plan to clean it up.

$1 Billion+ ... The most accurate available information shows that the state could spend this amount on IT projects over the next five years.

Huge Money, Small Oversight: State IT Spending In Vermont

The state of Vermont doesn’t track what it spends on information technology, so we did it ourselves.

Graphics by Seven Days staff.

Vermont Mulls Pros & Cons of Privatizing Liquor Sales

A river of booze flows through Vermont’s state-owned liquor stores, and I measured it.

see more data projects

Portfolio: Public Radio

graphic by aleksangel /

Delays and Debt Plague Vermont’s $1B+ IT Upgrades

Vermont’s backlog of IT upgrades grows to $1 billion as taxpayers still pay off obsolete technology.

A new federally-funded runway extension allows larger planes to land at the Northeast Kingdom International Airport. The developer, Q Resorts, is on the hook to deliver other improvements, but there's some concern about timetable delays.

Mixed Signals for Airport Funding And Timeline

At the Northeast Kingdom International Airport, flights remain domestic and developers are pressed for time.

A lone motorcycle sets atop a parking garage in Rutland while Road Pitch riders enjoy free entry to a rooftop microbrew festival — and a shuttle back to their hotel — after the pitch session. Photo by Hilary Niles

Growing a ‘Startup Ecosystem’ on Two Wheels

A roving band of entrepreneurs sets out to do for economic development what the public sector can’t.

See more audio and radio work

Portfolio: Print and Web

image courtesy Beachfront B-Roll

Traffic-Stop Race Data Remain Elusive in Vermont

All police in Vermont must record the race of every driver they pull over. So, where’s the data?


What Explains It: The Cost of Medical Supplies

As health care moves further away from a fee-for-service model, charges for medical supplies become even less tethered to their actual costs.

Bill Stenger (foreground, right), president and CEO of Jay Peak Resort, presides over the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the immigrant-funded Stateside Hotel and Baselodge. Photo by Hilary Niles / VTDigger

Jay Peak loses trust of first EB-5 investors

Investors cry foul after Jay Peak owner converts their $500,000 equity stakes into unsecured IOUs.

See more writing for print and web

Journalism Blog

Paul Albergo,  Bureau Chief for Bloomberg BNA and adjunct professor of journalism at American University

Ignore Policy at Your Peril

Without easy narratives that match familiar story schema, policy and regulation are deemed too dull or too dense to fit within a click-driven, deadline-oriented news cycle. And that’s a problem.


Narrative Databases: When To Treat Information As Data

Data-driven journalism isn’t always about numbers. Structuring information like data also allows for keen analysis — and may reveals a virtual quarry of stories to mine.


Back to business

Three and a half years ago, I left self-employment to attend graduate school. The one thing I wanted at the end was a job — a regular paycheck. Now, I’m giving up a regular paycheck to return to my business, Niles Media. And it feels great.

See all our news

About Hilary

Before graduate studies at the Missouri School of Journalism and training with Investigative Reporters and Editors, journalism was my hobby. It started through my work as founding program director of Portsmouth Community Radio in New Hampshire. I previously worked as a marketing consultant for artists, nonprofits and small businesses, and as a bartender and farmer.