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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News
4:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Amid Ukraine's Faltering Hopes For Peace, Biden Speaks In Kiev

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 6:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia today that it must join in efforts to reduce tensions in Ukraine. Biden was in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, and it looks like last week's international agreement to disarm militant groups in that country is failing. Ukrainian president says the security service will resume an anti-terrorist operation following the discovery of two bodies in eastern Ukraine. The operation had been suspended after the agreement in Geneva.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley joins us from Donetsk.

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Europe
6:06 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Slovyansk Strengthens Resolve To Fight Kiev Government

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 12:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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News
4:05 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Eastern Ukraine Town Sent Reeling After Checkpoint Killings

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 7:26 pm

The killing of three people at a checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk has increased tension in the town, where a government building is being occupied by pro-Moscow militants.

Europe
8:05 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Ukraine's Divide, Too Broad For Easter To Bridge?

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 11:53 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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World
5:09 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Despite Easter 'Truce,' Standoff In Ukraine Appears Steadfast

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 6:28 pm

In the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the opposing camps seem increasingly entrenched, despite a diplomatic effort to ease tensions. Pro-Russian forces refuse to leave occupied buildings and public squares in the east. It's an uneasy Easter weekend and neither side is willing to budge.

Parallels
5:36 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Dans Le Train, French Spend Their Commute Learning English

David Potier, head of commercial relations with France's state rail company, promotes the English classes and Canadian Afton Piercy is one of the teachers.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 11:18 am

On some French trains, the conductor's whistle signals more than just a departure. For commuters traveling on an express train from Reims to Paris — a 90-mile, 45-minute ride — it means the beginning of English class.

"Before the course, we were sleeping in the train in the morning," says passenger-student Gilles Hallais. "So I prefer practicing English."

Hallais, 44, is a journalist at French public radio. He says while he doesn't need English for his work, he does need it for his life. "I think it could be a handicap if I don't speak fluent English."

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World
5:10 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Paris Poised To Elect City Of Light's First Female Mayor

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 6:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Voters in Paris go to the polls Sunday to elect a new mayor. And for the first time in its long history, the city will have a woman at the helm. Despite the historical significance, the race has failed to spark much enthusiasm among voters. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has more.

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Europe
5:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Ukrainians Speculate What Russia Plans To Do Next

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:39 am

Ukrainians in Kiev are debating if the Russian military buildup on the border between the two countries is just saber rattling or the precursor to a second incursion.

Europe
12:00 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

A Culture Of Unchecked Abuse Thrives In Ukraine And Crimea

Last week, a YouTube video of a far-right member of Ukraine's parliament roughing up the top executive of the state television network went viral.
Eurovision/YouTube

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 1:02 pm

Since the upheaval in Ukraine began four months ago, the number of kidnappings of journalists and activists has been on the rise, though they've always been part of the Ukrainian political landscape.

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News
4:36 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

As Russia And The West Trade Shots Across The Bow, Kiev Looks On

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 6:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Europe
4:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

For Crimea, Split From Ukraine Would Be Complicated And Costly

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:37 am

Crimea is a poor region, heavily subsidized by Kiev, and gets all its gas, water and food from Ukraine. Russia doesn't even have a land link with the Crimean peninsula and absorbing it will affect banks, schools, tourism and pensions for residents.

World
5:08 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Anger And Shock In Kiev Over Russia's Land Grab

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, Russia's actions are being celebrated in Crimea. Many people there are excited about the idea of joining Russia. The emotion is much more downtrodden in the capital, Kiev, where there's a feeling of loss setting in.

And here's Eleanor Beardsley is there.

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News
4:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Kiev Mobilizes Thousands Of Troops, Preparing For Worst

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 6:33 pm

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to mobilize 40,000 reservists as Kiev tries to beef up its military following the referendum in Crimea.

World
5:07 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Crimeans Vote To Leave Ukraine, Join Russia

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 11:59 am

Crimeans voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Morning Edition checks in with NPR's Gregory Warner in Simferopol and Eleanor Beardsley in Kiev for the latest.

Europe
4:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

With All Eyes On The East, A Seige Mentality Settles On Kiev

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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NPR Story
5:18 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Hollande's U.S. Visit To Send Signal To French Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 7:45 am

French President Francois Hollande arrives in the U.S. on Monday. In addition to a stop at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, Hollande will travel to Silicon Valley. The French president has been seen as anti-business, but he is trying to send a positive signal to French entrepreneurs with his visit to the world's high-tech capital.

Animals
8:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

France Takes A Stand, Crushing Ivory Beneath The Eiffel Tower

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 11:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR NEW. I'm Rachel Martin.

This past week, France became the first European country to destroy illegal ivory in a high profile public demonstration. It did so underneath the Eiffel Tower as part of a global effort to call attention to the illicit ivory trade. Officials say the trade not only wipes out the world's population of elephants, it also funds terrorism.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.

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Europe
4:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Comedian Runs Afoul Of France's Strict Laws On Hate Speech

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

French police raided the Paris offices and home of a controversial comedian today. The comedian is known by his stage name of Dieudonne, he's been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during his performances, although he denies that. The French government has banned his current show, sparking a debate in France about the limits of free speech.

More from Paris and from NPR's Eleanor Beardsley.

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Europe
5:05 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Musical Theater Takes The Stage In Paris

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 5:32 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

To see a musical, you might travel to New York or even to London, but Paris? Aside from the language barrier, musicals have always been considered silly by French standards and not widely embraced, but that is changing. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, Parisians have been enjoying a string of musical theater performances at one of the city's venerable theaters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Africa
5:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

On Third Anniversary, Tunisians May Get A Constitution

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 6:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Arab Spring that brought those changes to Egypt began in Tunisia, exactly three years ago today. Tunisians overthrew their dictator, prompting a wave of uprisings across the region. But three years on, lawmakers are still struggling to ratify a new constitution and lay the foundations of their country's future. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in Tunis and sent this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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