Eleanor Beardsley

Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in June 2004, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy.

Beardsley has covered both 2007 and 2012 French presidential elections as well as the Arab Spring in Tunisia, where she witnessed the overthrow of the autocratic President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. She reported on the riots in French suburbs in 2005 and the massive student demonstrations in 2006. Beardsley has followed the Tour de France cycling race and been back to her old stomping ground — Kosovo — to report for NPR on three separate occasions.

Prior to moving to Paris, Beardsley worked for three years with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. She also worked as a television producer for French broadcaster TF1 in Washington, DC and as a staff assistant to Senator Strom Thurmond.

Reporting from France for Beardsley is the fulfillment of a lifelong passion for the French language and culture. At the age of 10 she began learning French by reading the Asterix The Gaul comic book series with her father.

While she came to the field of radio journalism relatively late in her career, Beardsley says her varied background, studies and travels prepared her for the job as well as any journalism school. "I love reporting on the French because there are so many stereotypes about them that exist in America," she says. "Sometimes it's fun to dispel the false notions and show a different side of the French. And sometimes the old stereotypes do hold up. But whether Americans love or hate France and the French, they're always interested!"

A native of South Carolina, Beardsley has a Bachelor of Arts in European history and French from Furman University in Greenville, S.C., and a Masters Degree in International Business from the University of South Carolina.

Beardsley is interested in politics, travel and observing foreign cultures. Her favorite cities are Paris and Istanbul.

Pages

Europe
3:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

French Hostage Released After Being Held For 3 Years By Al-Qaida

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 8:38 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A French hostage returned to Paris today after being held for three years by al-Qaida in the Sahara. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the man's release has revived questions about whether and how governments should deal with hostage takers.

Read more
Goats and Soda
4:08 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

A Tale Of Dueling Ebola Songs: One From Britain, One From Africa

TK
Courtesy of Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:34 am

In separate recording studios and separate songs, two groups of international stars have harnessed the power of their voices to help raise awareness of Ebola.

Read more
Europe
4:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

French Lawmakers Vote To Recognize Palestinian State

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 6:41 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Read more
Europe
4:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Santa's Black-Faced Helpers Are Under Fire In The Netherlands

People line the road to greet Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus, and his "Swarte Piet" (Black Pete) sidekicks in Amsterdam on Nov. 17, 2013. In the past few years, Black Pete has come under fire. Some say it's a beloved tradition that should remain; others say it is a racist stereotype.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:49 pm

For an American, watching a Sinterklaas parade, like the one I recently went to in Amsterdam, can be a bit of a shock. Because dancing around the dear old Dutch Santa are his helpers, known as Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete.

And Black Pete is played by scores of white people dressed up in black face ... and wearing Afro wigs.

In the past few years, Black Pete has come under fire. A beloved tradition for some, others say he is a racist stereotype. And the increasingly rancorous debate over Black Pete has gripped the Netherlands.

Read more
Book News & Features
3:44 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

A French Best-Seller's Radical Argument: Vichy Regime Wasn't All Bad

Philippe Petain, head of the French World War II collaborationist government in Vichy, greets French prisoners arriving from Germany in 1941.
AP

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 9:23 am

On a recent night in France, conservative journalist Eric Zemmour, author of Le Suicide Francais (French Suicide), was under attack on a talk show — again. The debate over Zemmour's book has monopolized conversation on the airwaves and in cafes.

Read more
Parallels
4:20 am
Sun October 26, 2014

Stranded In France, Migrants Believe Britain Is The Answer

French riot policemen force out migrants who were hidden in a truck that was making its way to the ferry terminal in Calais in western France on Wednesday. The cross-Channel port has become the last barrier for economic and political migrants trying to enter Britain illegally.
Pascal Rossignol Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 3:38 pm

Once known for lace-making, tourism, and being the closest French port to England, Calais has now come to represent a focal point of illegal immigration.

Hundreds of migrants roam the town by day. At night they sleep in squalid tent cities, their clothing hanging on fences and from the trees. The migrants have fled war, poverty and dictatorship, in places like Eritrea, Afghanistan and Sudan. They've traveled over desert and sea, on journeys that often take years.

Now, they're trying to get the last 30 miles to England.

Read more
Parallels
2:39 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Egality N'est Pas La Réalité: French Women Wage Online War On Sexism

Caroline De Haas, 34, launched Macholand.fr after a company responded dismissively to her complaint against its sexist advertising.
Courtesy of EGAE

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 5:39 pm

Caroline De Haas has had enough. The French feminist, 34, became so fed up with sexism in the country that she's launched a website to fight it.

Tapping on her keyboard, De Haas brings up the new site, Macholand.fr. On the screen are several "actions" targeted at sexist politicians or advertisers who have crossed the line.

Read more
Parallels
8:04 am
Sun September 28, 2014

Reporter's Notebook: In Eastern Ukraine, A Bellicose Mood Prevails

A teacher spreads a plastic sheet to prevent rain from further damaging the shelled top floor of Gymnasium 33, a high school in Donetsk. The school was hit by Ukrainian shelling on Aug. 27. Many schools are unable to accommodate students due to damaged facilities and unpaid teachers.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 28, 2014 9:06 am

During my recent reporting trip to cover the Ukrainian conflict in the eastern city of Donetsk, I stayed at one of the city's last functioning hotels. It also happens to be the unofficial separatist headquarters, affording me a close-up glimpse of the leaders of the so-called Donetsk People's Republic.

This is the name the separatists have given to this part of eastern Ukraine they want to become independent.

Read more
Parallels
12:42 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

After A Tumultuous Summer, Ukrainian Kids Return To School

Many students at Kiev's Lyceum for the Humanities have relatives in Russia or parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by separatists. The conflict has divided families and caused many problems, they say, but it has also strengthened their sense of Ukraine's identity.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 5:53 pm

Music resounds through the hallways to signal the end of class at Kiev's Lyceum for the Humanities, one of the Ukrainian capital's top public high schools.

Lively students dressed in dark blue school uniforms pour into the stairwells as they make their way to the next class. Once they're seated at their desks, their teacher explains that today a foreign journalist has come to meet them.

Read more
Europe
7:00 am
Sun September 7, 2014

In Kiev, A New Patriotism Cemented In Russia's Shadow

Sergei Kozak, a soldier injured in the last cease-fire, says it is up to Russian whether or not the current cease-fire holds.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sun September 7, 2014 11:51 am

A cease-fire in eastern Ukraine appears to be collapsing, with both the Ukrainian government and separatist forces accusing each other of violating it. That won't come as a surprise to the people of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, who are deeply skeptical.

Read more

Pages