I enjoy telling stories, stories that help us see the truth, stories that illuminate and surprise, stories that remind us of our beautiful, flawed humanity. That’s what I’ve done throughout my career — as a writer, editor, radio producer, foreign correspondent, and editorial consultant.  

Most recently, I covered the Syrian refugee crisis in Greece, Turkey and around Europe over three years with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Previously, I was Managing Editor of Salon, as well as The Bay Citizen, which produced the Bay Area pages of The New York Times. I was also an editor at SFGate.com and the The Whole Earth Review.

My writing has been published in The Nation, Salon, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, The Intercept, The Global Post, Nautilus, The San Francisco Chronicle, and other publications. My radio stories have been heard nationally on PRI’s The World and NPR.

I was born in Portland, OR, and have lived in France, Greece and Costa Rica, where I was a shortwave radio producer and translator. I spent a year in New York City at Columbia University on a National Arts Journalism Program fellowship.

I was a 2019 Logan Nonfiction Fellow and am a proud member of the The Castro Writers’ Cooperative in San Francisco. My book A GREEK TRAGEDY is forthcoming from Astra House (2022).



I talk about reporting on the refugee crisis in Greece and Turkey for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.



"Your Lesbos/Flint story was magic. It was incredible how you did the dance between the two places and what they're facing."

Marco Werman, host of The World

"Most brilliant piece ever by @jcarstensen.  Sort of like the movie Amadeus, crossed w/ Fight Club."

Elizabeth Lesly Stevens

"But the clapper that really rang my bell was an article about the world of zines by Jeanne Carstensen.  It didn't take long for me to come up with a zine of my own."

Mark Frauenfelder, cofounder of Boing Boing

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