Helen Lyons

Antwerp, Belgium · Washington, D.C.

I’m an American journalist primarily based in Belgium whose work has appeared in leading national outlets. My reporting is often data-driven and has covered a variety of topics, from economic inequality to rollercoaster inspections and everything in between, but I still haven't quite figured out Twitter.

hablo español | je parle français | ik spreek nederlands



Belgium’s Jews lament ban on ritual slaughter

The Belgian region of Flanders banned kosher and halal slaughter without first stunning the animal. The measure has left Jews struggling to find kosher meat and worried about the ban's political implications.

UberEats gives 67 euros for lost work to courier forced to quarantine while wife battles Covid

A special coronavirus fund set up by Uber to help workers affected by the global pandemic paid a Brussels courier just €67.64 for 11 days of lost wages when he was forced to quarantine after his wife tested positive for Covid-19. Some say that Uber's insurance offerings are merely a smokescreen meant to placate the press.

Some D.C.-Area Private Schools See Increased Interest As Public School Plans Remain Uncertain

Silver Oaks Cooperative School is a small, private K-5 school just outside of D.C. that opened two years ago. As a new learning institution just establishing its reputation in the greater Washington area, which has well over a hundred independent schooling options for those who can afford them, the school was worried that coronavirus-related closures might spell doom for them. What they found was just the opposite.

Hospitals find asthma hot spots more profitable to neglect than fix

Keyonta Parnell has had asthma most of his young life, but it wasn't until his family moved to the 140-year-old house here on Lemmon Street two years ago that he became one of the health-care system's frequent customers. "I call 911 so much since I've been living here, they know my name," said the 9-year-old's mother.

D.C.’s Homicide Rate Soars In The Midst Of National Decline

Zyair Bradley was 20 years old. He loved football and boxing, music, dancing and playing jokes on people. He had a job and “a million friends.” He was a son, a protective big brother and his mother’s “beautiful angel.” He was also one of 18 people to have been murdered in the District of Columbia just this month.

‘We’re Seeing A Piece Of D.C. Culture Disappear’: High Rents Are Threatening Mom-And-Pop Restaurants

If you’re passionate about food and considering opening a restaurant of your own, Dan Simons of Founding Farmers has just one word of advice: “Don’t.” Simons is one of many business owners in D.C. worried about what rising rent costs mean for the longevity of beloved local restaurants. Creme on 14th and Ventnor Sports Cafe in Adams Morgan both closed their doors last year, joining an ever-growing graveyard of District eateries.



R, Python, MySQL, ArcGIS, Analytics Canvas, Tableau, Dashboard Creation, Web Design, Adobe Suite/MMJ Stuff, AP Style


English, Spanish, French, Dutch/Flemish


The Brussels Times - Brussels, Belgium

Contributor, 2021 - Present

DCist - Washington, D.C.

Contributor, 2018 - Present

The Dailer Caller - Washington, D.C.

Contributor, 2018 - Present

Capital News Service - College Park, MD

Data Journalist, 2016 - 2017

Takoma Voice - Washington, DC

Digital Editor, 2016 - 2017

Hyattsville Life & Times - Hyattsville, MD

Freelance Writer, 2016 - 2017

Takoma Park City Newsletter - Washington, DC

Freelance Writer, 2016 - Present


The University of Maryland College Park - 2017 - Master's Degree, Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania - 2011 - Bachelor's Degree, Spanish and International Studies


Winner: Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards (Human Rights Reporting), 2018

Winner: Society of Professional Journalists Awards (Local Coverage), 2018

Finalist: Scripps Howard Awards (Community Journalism), 2018


I travel between Washington, D.C. and Antwerp, Belgium with regularity, but I like to think of Belgium as my home base because there's better beer here. Also the chocolate. And the waffles. Plus my partner (not necessarily in that order).

When I'm not writing or meddling in public records, I'm likely either working on a jigsaw puzzle or shooing my cat off my jigsaw puzzle.