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
7:41 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Analyst: Angry French Farmers Will Have To Adapt To Globalization

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 10:38 am

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The Salt
7:44 am
Sat July 18, 2015

A Battle Royale To Keep McDonald's Out Of Historic Food Hub In Paris

The Arc de Triomphe is visible behind a McDonald's restaurant on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France. The nation is now McDonald's second-biggest market, but one historic neighborhood known as "the belly of Paris" has pledged to keep it out.
Alastair Miller Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 10:33 am

The U.S. and Europe are in the midst of negotiating a historic trade deal that will create the world's largest consumer market: some 800 million people. Despite promises that the agreement will create thousands of new jobs, there's fierce resistance to it in Europe, especially when it comes to food.

Many Europeans say they want to preserve a way of life and eating that they say America's industrial farming and multinational corporations threaten. A smaller version of that battle is being fought in one Paris neighborhood known as "the belly of Paris."

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Europe
7:14 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Greeks Rally In Athens In Support Of The Euro

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 3:09 pm

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Parallels
4:30 pm
Thu July 2, 2015

In Secular French Schools, One Group Wants To Talk Religion

A student attends a course on religion at a middle school in Metz, in eastern France, on June 5. French schools teach basics, like the history of religion, but discourage any displays of religious identity.
Jean-Christophe Verhaegen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:35 pm

For the past several years, the group Coexister has been going into secular French schools to break down religious stereotypes in the classroom.

Since January's attacks on satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, the demand for their interventions has skyrocketed.

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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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Europe
8:00 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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Parallels
4:47 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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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
8:00 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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