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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5:17pm

Wed January 14, 2015
Parallels

Some French Muslims See Conspiracies In Paris Shootings

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 8:43 pm

A man walks through the Grand Mosque in Paris on Jan. 9. Some Muslims have questioned the official version of the shootings in Paris and embraced conspiracy theories. In schools, some Muslim students refused to take part in a moment of silence for the victims.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Last week's shootings in Paris shocked the French. Many received another jolt when they learned that some Muslim students refused to join in the minute of national silence observed across the country following the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The newspaper Le Figaro quoted one teacher in a heavily Muslim neighborhood in the eastern city of Strasbourg as saying that 80 percent of her students did not participate.

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4:16pm

Tue January 13, 2015
Europe

'Charlie Hebdo' Keeps The Presses Running, Will Print 3 Milllion Copies

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:45 pm

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

6:15pm

Fri January 9, 2015
Europe

Palpable Relief On Parisian Streets After Hostage Crises End

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 7:06 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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4:36pm

Fri January 9, 2015
Europe

France Hostage Crises End After Chaotic Day

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 5:06 pm

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

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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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12:48pm

Fri January 9, 2015
News

In France, Simultaneous Standoffs Erupt In Violence

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

4:16pm

Thu January 8, 2015
Europe

France Mobilizes 88,000 Police, Soldiers In Manhunt

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:29 pm

French police are still searching for the gunmen who killed 12 people in Wednesday's attack on the Charlie Ebdo publication in Paris. They also investigated what appears to have been a second attack on Thursday, in which two police officers were shot — one fatally.

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

4:24pm

Wed January 7, 2015
Europe

French Government Organizes Massive Manhunt To Find Gunmen

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 6:17 pm

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

7:58am

Wed January 7, 2015
Europe

Gunmen Storm Satirical Magazine's Office In Paris

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 1:00 pm

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

3:27am

Fri January 2, 2015
All Tech Considered

Why Buy When You Can Borrow? App Connects People And Stuff

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 1:41 pm

Peerby allows people to share their stuff through a mobile app for free.
Peerby

3:31am

Fri December 26, 2014
Parallels

Europe's Far Right And Putin Get Cozy, With Benefits For Both

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 11:28 am

Marine Le Pen (center), leader of France's far-right National Front party, has visited Russia on several occasions, and a Russian bank recently lent her party $11 million.
Jean-Philippe Ksiazek AFP/Getty Images

Last month at a meeting of the far-right National Front in the French city of Lyon, there was a special guest: Andrey Isayev, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin's political party.

The apparent contradiction of political philosophies didn't seem to dampen the crowd's enthusiasm for Isayev's message: Long live Franco-Russian friendship, and down with the European Union! Isayev called the EU a "spineless lackey of the United States."

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3:28am

Thu December 25, 2014
Parallels

The French Go Crazy For 'An American In Paris'

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 3:49 pm

The stage version of the Hollywood classic An American in Paris combines British, French and American artistic traditions and stars Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in the roles made famous by Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly.
Marie-Noelle Robert Courtesy of Theatre du Chatelet

Parisians are going gaga over An American in Paris, the first-ever stage production of the 1951 Hollywood film starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and with a musical score by George Gershwin.

The performance at Paris' Chatelet theater is getting rave reviews and has completely sold out. It's not hard to see why: The stage comes alive with the story of an American artist and the young French dancer he falls in love with. It's filled with fabulous dancing and all those great Gershwin tunes.

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4:16pm

Wed December 10, 2014
Europe

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

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 9:38 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.

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5:08pm

Wed December 3, 2014
Goats and Soda

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

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 3:14 pm

TK
Courtesy of Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF

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.

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5:05am

Wed December 3, 2014
Europe

French Lawmakers Vote To Recognize Palestinian State

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 7:41 am

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

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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5:03am

Mon December 1, 2014
Europe

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

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 6:49 pm

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

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.

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