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
3:52 am
Mon September 15, 2014

The Streets Are Empty As The Shells Keep Falling In Eastern Ukraine

Smoke rises near Donetsk's airport on Sunday amid increased shelling. Pro-Russian forces are trying to dislodge Ukrainian troops. The renewed fighting is testing a fragile cease-fire.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 1:48 pm

We ride through the empty streets of Donetsk, closely following a van of monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the multinational organization making sure the peace in eastern Ukraine is being adhered to by both sides.

Leading our convoy is a local police car from the Donetsk People's Republic, the unofficial name given to this area by the rebels aspiring to separate from Ukraine.

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Parallels
1:01 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.

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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.

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Europe
3:08 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Ukraine Cease-Fire Brings End To 5 Months Of Violence

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 7:39 pm

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

Transcript

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World
9:58 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Ukraine Says It Reached A Cease-Fire Deal With Separatists

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:17 am

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

Europe
4:02 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Political Crisis Exposes France's Economic Problems

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 7:00 am

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

Crime In The City
2:30 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Mystery Writer Weaves Intricate Puzzles In Sleepy French Town

Mary Lou Longworth has set most of her mysteries in Aix-en-Provence, a small city in Southern France. "I liked the idea of this beautiful, beautiful place having a dark side," she says.
Ben Bowes via Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 10:30 am

The southern French town of Aix-en-Provence is known more for good living than for murder. But the town's languid beauty is also what makes it a perfect setting for Mary Lou Longworth's Provencal mysteries with Inspector Verlaque.

On a recent afternoon, Longworth is comfortably ensconced at her favorite cafe under the plane trees. She watches the locals stroll by under a slanting, Mediterranean sun. Longworth could have set her mysteries 20 miles south of here, in the tough, crime-ridden port town of Marseille. But she says that would have been too predictable.

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Europe
2:36 am
Mon August 11, 2014

What Makes A Nation Happy?

The French have six weeks of vacation, free universities, top notch public transport and arguably the world's best health care system. Yet in poll after poll the French rank quite high in unhappiness.
Jacques Brinon AP

Originally published on Mon August 11, 2014 8:42 am

In Paris, pleasure boats ply the Seine River as people stroll along its banks on a summer day. The French have six weeks of vacation, free universities, top-notch public transport and arguably the world's best health care system. So who could be unhappy here? Yet in poll after poll, the French rank as some of the biggest malcontents in the Western world.

Parisian Bruno Fontaine is relaxing by the edge of the river. He says his countrymen don't realize how good they have it. But as world travelers, he says he and his wife do.

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Europe
3:30 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

In France, The Seeds Of A Hatred Renewed

Originally published on Fri August 8, 2014 5:57 pm

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

Transcript

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Parallels
5:15 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

France Presses On With Deal To Sell Two Warships To Russia

People holding Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar flags demonstrate in front of the French-built Vladivostok warship in St. Nazaire, western France, on June 1. The protesters are opposed to the sale of the Vladivostok and Sevastopol warships to Russia.
Jean-Sebastien Evrard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 6:31 pm

France plans to go ahead with the sale of two warships to the Kremlin, even as the European Union and U.S. strengthen sanctions on Russia amid continued fighting in Ukraine and the aftermath of the downed Malaysian airliner.

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