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

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Mapping Education Reform in Vermont

This real-time map shows the current status of 250+ school districts undergoing consolidation.

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.

see more data projects

Portfolio: Public Radio

This black cat slipped beneath a chain link fence that cordons off the city block razed for a development that never came. © Hilary A. Niles

Authorities Dig Into The Dealings Of The Men Behind Jay Peak Resort

Jay Peak Resort’s grand plan to revitalize a region’s economy is now said to be a fraud. (NPR)

Law enforcement officers look on as lawmakers discuss a bill making it easier to de-certify police in Vermont for crimes and misconduct.

Vermont Police Are Rarely De-Certified, Even For Crimes And Misconduct

Shy of a felony conviction, it’s really hard to lose your badge in Vermont. (Vermont Public Radio)

graphic by aleksangel / istock.com

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

Backlog of IT upgrades reaches $1 billion as state pays off obsolete technology. (Vermont Public Radio)

See more audio and radio work

Portfolio: Print and Web

A downtown city block was razed to make way for the Renaissance Block, a mixed-use development proposed by the Jay Peak developers now accused of fraud. © Hilary A. Niles

Red Flags Preceded Fraud Allegations at Jay Peak

Vermont joins SEC fraud charges against a business it did little to oversee. (Boston Globe)

image courtesy Beachfront B-Roll

Traffic-Stop Race Data Remain Elusive in Vermont

Vermont police must record the race of every driver they pull over. So, where’s the data? (Seven Days)

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What Explains It: The Cost of Medical Supplies

With health care reform, charges for supplies become untethered from costs. (Vermont Business Magazine)

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.

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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.

LancasterFair

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.

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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.