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.
Macron has ordered an investigation into reports that his phone was on a list of potential targets for the Pegasus spyware. At least 15 ministers in his government also may have been spied on.
France is experimenting with a pre-paid "Culture Pass" for 18-year-olds. President Emmanuel Macron has said he hopes the program will aid a post-pandemic cultural revival.
More than two million people in France have rushed to get vaccinated since President Emmanuel Macron announced restrictions against those not inoculated against COVID-19.
Crack has been a problem in Paris for 30 years but has become visible after pandemic lockdowns. One neighborhood is protesting against users and dealers who have been allowed to occupy their park.
Thanks to falling COVID-19 infection rates and rising vaccinations, France's Cannes Film Festival has returned with couture glamour and cinematic ambition.
After the cancellation of the festival in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Cannes Film Festival returns to the French Riviera with an expanded program and a historic jury led by filmmaker Spike Lee.
The Statue of Liberty has a little sister, a 9-foot casting from Bartholdi's original mold. It departed Normandy by boat and arrives in New York City soon for temporary installation on Ellis Island.
Regional elections in France this June will indicate the relative strength of the country's political parties ahead of next year's presidential election. The far right appears to be gaining.
The end of U.S. tariffs brought on by the Airbus-Boeing dispute is a great relief for France's wine industry and U.S. wine importers. One Trump-era dispute remains: tariffs on EU steel and aluminum.
As France lifts its lockdown and welcomes vaccinated visitors from the EU and America, a new museum opens in the center of Paris that features contemporary African American artists.