Step Vaessen, based in Jakarta, has been reporting on Asia for more than 15 years. Starting off as a correspondent for Dutch National Television in Southeast Asia she covered the independence struggle and violence in East Timor and Aceh, religious and ethnic conflicts in the Moluccans and Kalimantan and the bloody transition from authoritarian regime to democracy in Indonesia. She covered numerous disasters like the tsunami in 2004 and earthquakes in Indonesia and Pakistan. As an experienced video-journalist she travelled intensively in the region, covering Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and China.
In 2006 she joined Al Jazeera as Indonesia’s correspondent. Her career in broadcast journalism has spanned almost two decades. In 2005, she won an Academy Award for her reports on the Asian tsunami. In 2011 she published her first book, "Jihad with sambal".