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Rachel Stevenson

Freelance journalist, writer, editor

Location icon United Kingdom

I am an award-winning news and features journalist working across print, online and broadcast media for major news organisations. I cover many subjects, from human rights, conflict and humanitarian issues, to Brexit and the coronavirus crisis.

What I do:
News and feature reporting, international and UK
Broadcast news, live programme editing, field and newsroom producing
News editing
Video and audio production
Lecturing in journalism and journalism consultancy

Who I work/have worked for:
The Guardian & The Observer
The Sunday Times
The BBC (15 years as a Senior Broadcast Journalist in TV news)
The Telegraph
The Independent
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

I live beside the sea with my four children in Cornwall. Yes, four.

Contact me [email protected]

Portfolio
The Sunday Times
08/01/2021
Tory anger as second homes in holiday locations force out key workers

Britain's most popular holiday locations are experiencing an unprecedented housing crisis. Locals have been left homeless by soaring property prices and the staycation boom as landlords evict tenants to put properties on Airbnb and cash in on the tourism boom.

The Observer
07/11/2021
Freedom day? Boris Johnson faces a tough call as Covid cases soar

With foreign holidays still in doubt and Cornwall filling up by the day, Jessica Webb has a unique perspective on "freedom day". With her sister, Naomi, and her father, Spence, she helps run Falmouth Surf School and Watersports on Maenporth beach.

The Observer
03/07/2021
Bloom time: my day picking daffodils against the clock

It's the kind of day when the cloud is so thick that a heavy greyness hangs in the air. But not in the fields of Fentongollan Farm in Cornwall, where swathes of yellow roll down the hillside, brightening the dullest of skies with spring cheer.

The Observer
10/01/2021
Covid seemed like a crisis far away from Cornwall. Not now

First we thought Covid would come in July, when restrictions were lifted and tourists and second home owners escaped the confines of their cities and headed down the M5 for fresh air at the coast. Then we thought it would come in September, when tourists and second home owners headed back up the motorway, leaving the virus behind them.

The Sunday Times
01/06/2021
Lack of pickers poses danger for daffodils

In the early hours of tomorrow, Cornwall's narrow country lanes will hum with the sound of vans arriving at farm gates. People clad head-to-toe in waterproofs will descend into the fields that lie behind the thorny hedgerows, and by the time the sky starts to turn a chalky grey-blue, they will be ankle-deep in mud, bending over rows of foliage, searching for hints of yellow among the green.

The Guardian
09/06/2020
A decade ago my kidney gave life to my husband ... and our four children

This week my husband and I will wave goodbye to our twins, the youngest of our children, as they start school for the first time. It's an emotional moment for all parents, particularly when it's the last of your brood. But for us there will be a special catch in our throats.

The Sunday Times
10/12/2020
I'm longing to see my parents too, but I'd never drive back to Durham

Like Dominic Cummings, I have parents who live in Durham. Like him, I grew up there and now live hundreds of miles away. Next week is the funeral of one of my school friends, which is being held online because, unlike Cummings, we can't travel to Durham.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
06/23/2017
Revealed: thousands prosecuted under controversial law

An eight-month investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals, for the first time, comprehensive data showing at least 1,800 people have been prosecuted for homicide using the little-known law of joint enterprise: a law which experts have called “unclear” and “capable of producing injustice”. Read our 64 page report

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
The controversial law of joint enterprise

Laura Mitchell's school days were cut short when she fell pregnant at 16. Five years later she had got her life together, was bringing up her son, had gone back to study, passed her GCSEs and was about to start a midwifery course. She had everything to look forward to until a night out ended in murder.

The Guardian
06/12/2008
Land of no return

'We had our own little code to warn them it was a dawn raid and to get out. There's more than one way of getting out of the flats - there's two staircases and two lifts, so you could play games if you knew how. If we were a thorn in their flesh, then good."

The Telegraph
12/16/2018
My daughter's Down's syndrome has helped me redefine perfection

We already had a three-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son when my husband James and I discovered we were having twins, and we spent the rest of the pregnancy panicking. We lived in a small flat in London at the time, though my main worry wasn't space, but how I could be a good mum to them all.

The Guardian
09/30/2011
War and wine: the Lebanese vineyards surviving conflict and chaos

Lebanon has a wine-making tradition that dates back more than 5,000 years. The vineyards of the Bekaa Valley have survived conflicts and religious divides. Now the country is enjoying relative peace, Lebanon's wine industry is flourishing.

The Guardian
04/08/2011
Ivory Coast horror recounted by victims and perpetrators

At the border crossing between Ivory Coast and Toe Town, Liberia, the New Forces rebels fighting for Alessane Ouattara are on guard duty. In their camouflage gear with AK47s slung around their necks, they swagger around the barrier across the border bridge that marks the edge of their control.

The Guardian
11/16/2011
Free Syrian Army takes shape on Lebanese border

Syrian army defectors say they will protect civilians. The man from the Free Syrian Army pointed to a spot on a distant hill marked by a lone white tent and a cluster of trees. "That's how we get in," he said of his furtive and increasingly frequent trips back to Syria.

The Guardian
04/09/2011
Ivory Coast rebels may have killed hundreds

Mass killings have been carried out by both sides of the conflict in Ivory Coast, according to evidence gathered on the Liberian/Ivory Coast border by Rachel Stevenson and Tamasin Ford, as well as the campaign group Human Rights Watch

The Guardian
12/17/2010
Turning the camera on myself

I've spent a lot of my career as a journalist trying to persuade people to open up to me about their misery and misfortunes. So when my own life began to resemble a storyline from a soap opera, it seemed natural to me to record what was happening.

The Guardian
07/27/2010
Dale Farm Travellers: 'We won't just get up and leave'

For the moment, peace reigns in the afternoons at Dale Farm, home to around 1,000 people on the outskirts of Basildon in Essex. Dogs lie sleeping in the lanes, women move to and fro, hanging out washing, tending their homes.

The Observer
04/02/2011
Ivory Coast refugees report massacres by Ouattara rebels

"I can't go home, the rebels have guns. I don't have a gun. They kill people and rape women. They can kill children and then they take the small children to go and fight. It's impossible. I can't go back." Rachel Stevenson and Tamasin Ford report from the border with Liberia

The Guardian
10/11/2011
Liberian former warlord running for president - video

Prince Johnson is a former Liberian rebel leader, filmed drinking beer while his men tortured and killed ousted president Samuel Doe in 1990. Here he explains why he's running for president in the west African country's second elections since civil war ended in 2003.

the Guardian
04/24/2012
Charles Taylor verdict: 'He should taste the bitterness of the law'

The start of the rainy season in Freetown doesn't dampen the vibrancy of the city. Blue, pink and green houses line its narrow winding roads. Street sellers wrapped in brightly printed cloth swarm through the neverending traffic. People are trying to move on from the horrors of Sierra Leone's civil war.

The Guardian
01/31/2011
Sharm el-Sheikh's tourists talking about a revolution

As the Arab Spring uprising takes hold in Cairo, notices in Sharm el-Sheikh hotels urge tourists to "continue their holidays as normal". But tensions from the Egyptian uprising are beginning to seep down to the Red Sea resort. On the surface, visitors to the Sinai resort, which is still recovering from recent shark attacks, appear more worried about swimming restrictions than revolution.

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