Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in 2004 as a freelance journalist, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy. Since then, she has steadily worked her way to becoming an integral part of the NPR Europe reporting team.
Beardsley has been an active part of NPR's coverage of terrorist attacks in Paris and in Brussels. She has also followed the migrant crisis, traveling to meet and report on arriving refugees in Hungary, Austria, Germany, Sweden and France. She has also traveled to Ukraine, including the flashpoint eastern city of Donetsk, to report on the war there, and to Athens, to follow the Greek debt crisis.
In 2011, Beardsley covered the first Arab Spring revolution in Tunisia, where she witnessed the overthrow of the autocratic President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. Since then she has returned to the North African country many times.
In France, Beardsley has covered three presidential elections, including the surprising win by outsider Emmanuel Macron in 2017. Less than two years later, Macron's presidency was severely tested by France's Yellow vest movement, which Beardsley followed closely.
Beardsley especially enjoys historical topics and has covered several anniversaries of the Normandy D-day invasion as well as the centennial of World War I.
In sports, Beardsley closely covered the Women's World Soccer Cup held in France in June 2019 (and won by Team USA!) and regularly follows the Tour de France cycling race.
Prior to moving to Paris, Beardsley worked for three years with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. She also worked as a television news producer for French broadcaster TF1 in Washington, D.C., and as a staff assistant to South Carolina Sen. 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. "I love reporting on the French because there are so many stereotypes about them in America," she says. "Sometimes it's fun to dispel the false notions and show a different side of the Gallic character. 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, South Carolina, and a master's 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.
France has recalled its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia as it registers its objection to a pact announced this week to build nuclear-powered submarines — a pact France wasn't included in.
French President Francois Hollande condemned the incident, which left the boy in a coma, as an unspeakable and unjustifiable act. Some say a xenophobic climate may have been a factor.
On the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France, President Obama joined with other allied leaders in commemorating veterans and those who lost their lives in the pivotal battle there.
In France, the far right's victory in last week's election was one more crisis for President Francois Hollande. Even before the vote, he was rated the most unpopular French president in 50 years.
France's $1.6 billion sale is the biggest ever by a NATO country to Russia. But in the wake of Russia's actions in Ukraine, the French are debating whether they should suspend the deal.
The National Front party traditionally rallies in support of its anti-immigrant, nationalist ideals on May 1, International Workers Day. The far right is growing stronger throughout much of Europe.
Lovebirds write their names on a padlock, attach it to something and toss the key. Sweet, right? Non, say opponents in Paris who want to ban a practice they say is damaging architecture and more.
Early Thursday morning, the Ukrainian military moved into towns held by militants. Firefights and casualties have been reported at a number of different locations.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said his country would respond if its citizens or interests came under attack in Ukraine. At the same time, the interim Ukrainian government has called for a new offensive on pro-Russia militants holed up in government buildings across eastern Ukraine. Western diplomats are scrambling to find a way to de-escalate the crisis.
During a visit to Kiev, Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia that it must help to reduce tensions in Ukraine. A recent international agreement intended to disarm militant groups seems to be failing.