Jeanette Beebe WHYY Interview Matawan-Aberdeen Girls in STEM

Jeanette Beebe is a poet & journalist.


Jeanette Beebe Poet & Journalist

She reports and produces newscast stories and features for the NPR station in Philadelphia (WHYY), with a focus on New Jersey. Her radio stories air on Morning Edition and WHYY's NewsWorks Tonight podcast, with web stories on Newsworks.org. 

Her Scientific American story on the world's first pizza chef robot was called "creepier than lice and spiders" by The New York Post. Her reporting has also appeared in the Philadelphia Business JournalThe TabPrinceton Echo, Planet Princeton, and the Princeton Alumni Weekly.

An Iowa native, Jeanette has lived in New Jersey for over a decade. As a journalist, she follows how big topics — healthcare, unemployment, education, the spread of disease — are actually felt by real people in our daily lives, as we work, see the doctor, pay bills, enjoy culture, and vote.



Jeanette got her start in journalism as a staff writer for the culture section of the Daily Princetonian, where she interviewed voting machine researchers a decade before they sounded the alarm that made international headlines. She holds an A.B. in English with certificates in Creative Writing and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Princeton, where she was lucky enough to write a senior thesis under the guidance of Tracy K. Smith

Though she's a poet with an indie publishing background, Jeanette's current passion is reporting on health, science, and tech — especially healthcare, addiction treatment, and green energy. She's not afraid to ask shamelessly simple questions to get to what's relevant, and what matters. She's slowly learning how to speak statistics. Her new favorite book is Ben Goldacre's Bad ScienceShe believes science is for everyone. 

Her reporting has taken her to the launch of the world's most powerful spherical tokamak fusion reactor, to tracking white-nose syndrome's impact on bats in Pennsylvania caves. She's reported on an uptick in Hepatitis C cases among heroin users in New Jersey, and on a rising trend of kidney transplants begun on Craigslist. She's profiled an environmentalist turned memoirist, a cancer survivor and psychiatrist turned playwright, and a medical anthropologist at the mouth of the Amazon.

She holds a deep interest in reporting with gender at the center. She reported and produced a radio story featuring Gloria Steinem, and filed stories on body-positive selfies and young women physicists. She's also written a series of profiles of young women for the Princeton Alumni Weekly: a Sri Lankan activist's work with children, a theater director's debut at Lincoln Center, a precocious opera composer's world premiere, a conservation leader's advocacy, and a historian's dedication to a local landmark. Through reporting assignments, training, and seminars — including the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's Student Project in Washington, D.C. — Jeanette has developed a beat reporting on issues relevant to the LGBTQ community, with stories on same-sex marriage, homophobia, bullying, same-sex adoption, workplace discrimination based on gender identity, and the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Jeanette is based in central Jersey, halfway between New York and Philadelphia. As she reveals in an interview with Poynter for a "Local Edition" story, Jeanette is a long-time commuter, and travels light. She's reported from Prague, Berlin, Washington, D.C., and along the Northeast Corridor, but she'll always be a Midwesterner at heart.