Jeanette Beebe WHYY Interview Matawan-Aberdeen Girls in STEM

Jeanette Beebe is a poet & journalist based in New Jersey.


Jeanette Beebe Poet & Journalist

For the NPR station in Philadelphia, WHYY, she reports and produces news spots and features. Her radio stories air on Morning Edition and the NewsWorks Tonight podcast, with web stories on Newsworks.org. 

Her reporting has also appeared in Scientific American, Philadelphia Business JournalThe TabPrinceton Echo, Planet Princeton, and the Princeton Alumni Weekly.


As a journalist, she traces what happens when leaders and government officials make announcements, fund programs, and change policy. She follows how big topics — healthcare, technology, unemployment, education, the spread of disease — are actually felt by real people in their daily lives, as they work, see the doctor, pay bills, go to school, enjoy culture, and vote.

An Iowa native, Jeanette has lived on the East Coast for over a decade. She 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.



Jeanette holds an A.B. in English with certificates in Creative Writing and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Princeton University. Her senior thesis, An Instrument for Blinking (Poems), was advised by Tracy K. Smith. Her first poems were Xeroxed and stapled in chapbooks to support her former arts collective, Moving ForWords Productions, and her hometown poetry slam in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Jeanette got her start in journalism as a staff writer for the Daily Princetonian, where she interviewed voting machine researchers a decade before their critiques of the 2016 election made international headlines. At Princeton, she studied radio reporting (with Steven Drummond), television news (with Lisa Cohen), narrative nonfiction (with Julia Keller), and profile/biography writing (with Annalyn Swan). She's participated in several journalism seminars and training sessions, including The Fund for American Studies' European Journalism Institute in Prague.

Though she's a poet with an indie publishing background, Jeanette frequently reports on science, health, and technology — she's not afraid to ask shamelessly simple questions. She 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 — or put another way, "women's issues" — including a radio story for WHYY/Newsworks featuring Gloria Steinem, and articles on body-positive selfies and young women physicists for The Tab. 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.