Star & Crescent is an independent news website that believes in journalism to create social change.

We aim to:

  • Hold power to account
  • Provide a platform on which to raise up missing and marginalised voices
  • Inspire debate about the real issues that affect local people
  • Increase local interest and involvement in politics
  • Big up the city as a lively, creative and cultural place to live, work and study

How do we do this?

  • Publishing voices that are not otherwise heard in the mainstream media – from local residents in our poorest communities to community activists
  • Using satire to bring local politics to a wider audience
  • Acting as a platform for local investigative reporting and well-researched journalism
  • Sharing voices from across the political spectrum
  • Regularly publishing local poets and authors
  • Sharing Portsmouth’s untold, unknown and secret histories

We think good journalism can help shape the world for the better, but we’re starting right here in Portsmouth. Join us or donate and #ReclaimTheNews!

The Editors & team

Editor in Chief, Sarah Cheverton is a freelance writer and researcher born and bred on Portsea Island. Her research work is based in arts and culture and women’s rights and she works predominantly in the public and voluntary sector. Sarah is the Writer in Residence for Aurora New Dawn, a Hampshire charity working with victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. She occasionally blogs for the Huffington Post and has contributed over 400 articles to feminist news site, Women’s Views on News.

Sarah writes about gender, travel, culture and violence. Her travel writing includes a chapter in Sini Sana, a collection of travel writing about Malaysia. She is currently working on a book about her experiences of violence and her creative memoir The Monster Beneath was featured in the recent collection Portsmouth Fairy Tale for Grown Ups. She is also the co-founder and co-director of Star & Crescent.

Born and (partly) raised in Portsmouth, Features Editor Tom Sykes is a freelance writer, editor and lecturer who has worked in the UK, India, the Philippines, Malaysia, Ghana and Ivory Coast. His fiction, features, book reviews, travelogues and works of creative nonfiction have appeared in the Times, New Statesman, The Daily Telegraph, Private Eye, New Internationalist, New African, Red Pepper, The London Magazine, The Journalist and Travel Africa amongst other publications. He has co-compiled and co-edited five nonfiction books including No Such Thing as a Free Ride? (2005) with Cassell Illustrated which was serialised in The Times and named the Observer’s Travel Book of the Month. In 2016 he wrote Ivory Coast: The Bradt Guide, the first ever English Language travel guide to the Ivory Coast, and a chapter for A Global History of Literature and the Environment (Cambridge University Press).

Tom is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth. He is currently working on an autobiographical novel titled Searching for Manila. His personal website is here. Tom is also the co-founder and co-director of Star & Crescent.

Angela Cheverton is Star & Crescent’s Company Secretary and Finance Officer. Angela worked in finance for over 50 years and brings a wealth of expertise to the team. After a lifelong career in finance, Angela – an avid maker and crafter – is currently working on her own creations, in addition to volunteering for S&C.

Paris Ali-Pilling works as Star & Crescent’s Social Media Manager, is a Contributing Editor and also reports for S&C. Paris started volunteering for S&C when the website first started, doing some of the Administration. Paris then went on to the University of Winchester to study a BA in Early Childhood, Youth and Community Studies and Education Studies (Early Childhood) being awarded Upper Second Class Honours. Paris taught in nurseries for about 3 years (specialising in babies), before leaving education to start freelancing for S&C.

Esti Chivite is a volunteer Contributing Editor for Star & Crescent, helping with Social Media Management and also reports for S&C. Esti is currently doing her placement year with us, she studies at the University of Portsmouth doing her degree in BA Creative Writing.

The Reclaim the News Community Reporting team

In 2018, S&C partnered with the Centre for Investigative Journalism to train 12 local residents in the skills and techniques of investigative journalism. The team trained over 10 weeks to create and develop their own investigations, and many continue to volunteer and report for us today as our Community Reporting team. You can read many of their stories here, as well as wherever on the site you see the below image.

Image shows a close up of a wave breaking against the shore with the Star & Crescent logo in the centre. It reads 'Reclaim the News Local Journalism Course. In association with the Centre for Investigative Journalism course.