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.

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Europe
4:58 am
Tue June 30, 2015

Are The French Always On Vacation Or Does It Just Seem That Way?

Originally published on Wed July 1, 2015 10:48 am

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Europe
6:34 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

Migrants In Calais, France, Try To Jump Aboard U.K.-Bound Trucks

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:20 pm

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Europe
5:04 am
Fri June 26, 2015

Migrants In French Camp Near English Channel Attempt To Get Into Britain

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 7:35 am

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Business
4:37 pm
Thu June 25, 2015

French Taxi Drivers Launch Nationwide Uber Protest

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 5:08 am

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Parallels
9:38 am
Sat June 20, 2015

At Waterloo Re-Enactment, History So Real You Can Taste It

Re-enactors prepare to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Battle of Waterloo in Belgium on Friday. Some 5,000 re-enactors, 300 horses and 100 canons are taking part over two days.
Geert Vanden Wijngaert AP

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 6:41 pm

Tens of thousands of people have been gathering in the Belgian countryside over the last week to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Waterloo. The bloody battle of June 18, 1815, marked the final defeat for Napoleon at the hands of a coalition of his enemies. The re-enactment is attracting history buffs, tourists and wannabe soldiers.

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History
5:08 am
Thu June 18, 2015

200 Years After Waterloo, Napoleon Still Divides Europe

French lawyer Franck Samson, dressed as Napoleon, takes part in a re-enactment of the Battle of Ligny in central Belgium on June 14. The re-enactment of Ligny, Napoleon's last victory, is part of bicentenary celebrations of the Battle of Waterloo.
John Thys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 2:05 pm

Two centuries ago this week, a coalition of European forces defeated Napoleon in an epic battle outside the city of Brussels. The continent is united these days, but the Battle of Waterloo still has the power to divide.

Napoleon Bonaparte was first defeated and sent into exile in 1814, but he didn't stay there.

In a period known as the 100 days, Napoleon regrouped his loyal army and marched into Belgium. There, he was met by a coalition led by the English and the Prussians. Only by combining forces were Napoleon's enemies finally able to beat him.

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Europe
8:01 am
Sat June 13, 2015

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Acquitted Of Aggravated Pimping

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:46 am

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Sports
5:08 am
Wed June 3, 2015

Amid Scandal, FIFA President To Resign Just Days After Being Reelected

Originally published on Wed June 3, 2015 2:15 pm

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Europe
4:32 pm
Mon June 1, 2015

Paris Officials Begin Removing Love Locks From Iconic Bridges

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 1:38 pm

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The city of romance has had enough of love - well, love locks. Officials in Paris say the padlocks attached to bridges by lovebirds threaten the city's historic architecture and public safety. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sent this report.

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Sports
5:18 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Sepp Blatter Reelected To 5th Term As FIFA President

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 6:20 pm

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Parallels
4:06 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Does Less Latin Mean Dumbing Down? France Debates School Reform

Striking French teachers hold a German flag as they take part in a nationwide protest against new measures aimed at revamping the country's school system, in Marseille, France, on May 19. France's 840,000 teachers are largely opposed to the reform, their unions say, fearing it will increase competition between schools and exacerbate inequalities.
Jean-Paul Pelissier Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 10:17 am

Reforming the education system in any country can be tricky. But in France, where learning is highly centralized and public school (l'ecole de la Republique) a symbol of French greatness, it's all but impossible.

Several French presidents have tried and failed. President Francois Hollande's second attempt has traditionalists up in arms and critics on the right and left screaming that French schools are being dumbed down.

Teachers, students and some parents took to the streets of cities across the country recently to denounce the government's project.

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Europe
4:53 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

European Union Introduces Quota Plan To Address Migrant Crisis

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:56 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
11:18 am
Wed May 13, 2015

One Woman's Struggle To Survive 'Too Much Vacation' In France

NPR Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley with her husband, Ulysse Gosset, and son, Maxime, on a ski vacation in the Alps in February. When she first moved to France, Beardsley enjoyed the frequent holidays. But combined with many school breaks, she and other working parents often find it becomes a burden.
Courtesy of Eleanor Beardsley

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 12:04 pm

May in France is known as the Swiss cheese month because of all the holiday holes in it. There are four national holidays and thus four long weekends. May 1 was the May Day workers' fete, May 8 marked the World War II victory in Europe, and there are two others I'll get to in a moment.

Instead of enjoying the long weekends, I find myself struggling to cope. I imagine working parents in Boston felt this way about snow days this past winter. Paris doesn't get buried in snow. But the holidays — and the school days off — are relentless.

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Parallels
3:36 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Still Playing: The Theater That Saw The Birth Of Cinema

The world's oldest operating cinema, the Eden, in La Ciotat, southern France, screened some of the first films of the Lumiere brothers in 1895.
Anne-Christine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 1:22 pm

Not far from the glitzy Mediterranean film festival venue of Cannes lies another town with a connection to cinema. There are no stars or red carpet, but La Ciotat has an even longer relationship with film, and boasts the world's oldest surviving movie theater.

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Europe
7:37 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Three Generations Of Le Pens Fight For Party's Future

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 6:29 am

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Parallels
5:25 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Replica Of Lafayette's Ship Re-Creates Historic Voyage To America

The Marquis de Lafayette sailed across the Atlantic to America aboard the original Hermione in 1780 and joined the American rebels in their struggle for independence from Great Britain. This replica will retrace his voyage; it's scheduled to arrive in Yorktown, Va., on June 5.
Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 2:02 am

Hundreds of American towns, streets and parks are named after the Marquis de Lafayette — the French general who came in 1780 to help George Washington in the struggle for independence.

Now, an exact replica of the general's ship is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, retracing Lafayette's voyage.

The magnificent "tall ship" is anchored in the waters off the coast of Fouras in western France. Its towering masts and 18th century rigging set it apart from any other boat out here.

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Europe
4:29 pm
Fri May 1, 2015

French Government Investigates Military For Alleged Child Abuse

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:18 pm

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Europe
4:56 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Prime Minister Says France Faces 'Unprecedented Terrorist Threat'

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

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Europe
4:53 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

New Evidence Supports Theory That Lubitz Purposely Crashed Plane

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 6:42 pm

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Europe
5:41 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Lufthansa Says Co-Pilot Suffered From Depression During Training

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:00 pm

Speculation about the mental state of the Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his plane in the French Alps a week ago has focused attention on airline industry practices and questions of medical confidentiality.

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