Rachel Stevenson

Freelance journalist, writer, editor

United Kingdom

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

What I do:
News and feature reporting, international and UK
Broadcast news, live programme editing, field and newsroom producing
News editing
Journalism consultancy, copy editing and copy writing

Who I work/have worked for:
The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, The Mail on Sunday and other magazines
The BBC (15 years in TV news)

I used to live in London and Beirut. I now live beside the sea with my four children in Cornwall. Yes, four.

Contact me [email protected].

The Observer
Surf, scones... but no homes: the battle for the soul of Cornwall

It's the last day of free parking at Porthtowan beach on Cornwall's wild Atlantic coast before the summer charging season begins. Plenty of people are making the most of the sunny but cold day. The steep hills surrounding the cove are bright yellow with gorse in full bloom, framing the brilliant turquoise sea against the cobalt sky.

The Observer
Why the ancient art of gleaning is making a comeback across England

"It's like a vegetable treasure hunt," says Jenni Duncan, 54, ankle deep in mud, looking at the rows of cauliflower plants stretching out in front of her as the Cornish drizzle gets heavier by the minute. This field near Hayle in west Cornwall has already been harvested, but not all the produce met supermarket standards and so some was left unpicked.

The Observer
'If there's peril, I'll be there,' says UK's youngest female lifeboat helm

Hurtling into town on a bike in the small hours of the morning wearing a tiger onesie might not be that unusual for the average 21-year-old. But if Amelia Luck from Fowey, Cornwall, is doing it, she isn't rushing to a party or a rave - she is heading to the lifeboat station, responding to an emergency call-out that can come at any time of day or night.

The Observer
After Cornish staycation summer, locals fear a winter of evictions

Like many other seaside towns across the country at this time of year, the streets of Newquay in November are a pretty drab affair. Ice-cream kiosks are locked up for the winter, and the town's famous beaches - where, in summer, holidaymakers jostle for space - are now empty.

The Sunday Times
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
Kayaks, drones, now paddleboards: the 'silent' sports that threaten seals

This month should be prime pupping season on the spectacular Cornish coast, whose rich waters and sheltered coves attract grey and common seals from all around the British Isles and beyond. But wildlife groups are concerned that a rise in "silent" water sports could put them in jeopardy.

The Observer
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 Sunday Times
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 Observer
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
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 Observer
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 Guardian
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 Guardian
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 Guardian
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
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 Bureau of Investigative Journalism
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 Telegraph
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.