She graduated in psychology in Nijmegen and then took a postgraduate course in journalism in Tilburg. During her student years, she was involved in the Nijmegen squatter movement, and worked on the squatter radio-station Radio Rataplan.
- Al Jazeera
After a decade working NOS in Jakarta, she moved to Al Jazeera English in 2006. She has been with Al Jazeera English since its foundation and is still based in Jakarta, as the station's correspondent for Indonesia.
- Guest appearances
On Sunday, August 7, 2011, she was the third guest for the 2011 season on the television programme Zomergasten on the VPRO. On 20 June 2012 she was the speaker for the Arondéus Lecture, to discuss the theme of intolerance in the Netherlands and attempts by politicians to limit free speech.
- Jihad met sambal, August 2011 (Prometheus : Amsterdam). ISBN 9044615378
- Profile of Step Vaessen on the website NOS Journaal in the Internet Archive
- De wandeling met Step Vaessen in the Internet Archive
- Profile of Step Vaessen on the Al Jazeera English website