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.
Colette Maze, now 107, began playing the piano at age 5. She defied the social conventions of her era to embrace music as a profession rather than as a pastime. She has just released her sixth album.
La Maestra, held in Paris this September, is the first fully realized competition solely for women conductors — an effort to help balance a male-dominated field.
Researchers are still digging into the question and sharing their findings decades after the Nazis sacked the homes of Jews during World War II.
For more than two centuries, France's Pleyel pianos were among the best in the world. They were a favorite of Chopin and Debussy. But now the iconic brand has been forced to close its last remaining plant.
In the aftermath of the deadly attacks on French soldiers and a Jewish school, and the police showdown with the suspected gunman in Toulouse, France is agonizing over how a young man could turn on his fellow citizens so ruthlessly.
In the French city of Toulouse, police have a suspect in Monday's killing of three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi.
France may be in the middle of an economic crisis, but politicians seem more interested in talking about halal meat and religious dietary rules. It all began when National Front Party presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said that non-Muslims in Paris were unwittingly eating halal meat.
At newsstands across France on Wednesday, readers will delight to a humorous broadsheet published every four years — on leap day. The quadrennial newspaper attracts readers with its satire. Its newsroom is a restaurant; the writers fuel themselves with Champagne.
Carla Bruni Sarkozy is breaking tradition by stumping for her husband, French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The supermodel-turned-pop singer is considered an asset for her husband, who has an uphill battle for re-election this spring.
France is holding a presidential election in the spring, and the campaign is in full swing, sort of. The only thing missing is one of the candidates: President Nicolas Sarkozy. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, he hasn't yet announced whether he's running for re-election.