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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Music News
1:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Stromae, Global Star In The Making, Set To Touch Down In The U.S.

Paul Van Haver, better known as Stromae, has already captured the European music market. Now, he's setting his sights on the U.S.
Dati Bendo Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 9:30 am

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Business
3:21 am
Wed June 18, 2014

As Exasperation Mounts, French Rail Strike Turns Violent

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 5:09 am

The French rail strike has enters it second week and train workers have clashed with riot police in Paris. The latest poll shows the striking train drivers are losing public support.

News
2:13 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Allies Land Again In Normandy, This Time To Honor D-Day Vets

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 1:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Europe
3:14 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Obama In Normandy For 70th Anniversary Of D-Day

Originally published on Fri June 6, 2014 9:09 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. The sky over Normandy is brilliant blue on this June 6. It is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. That's the 1944 Allied invasion across the English Channel into German-occupied France. It was such a risky enterprise in World War II, that General Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote a letter in case it failed, saying the blame is mine alone.

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Europe
4:24 am
Thu June 5, 2014

70 Years On, A Normandy Village Honors Aging WWII Veterans

U.S. World War II veteran Arden C. Earll, 89, of Erie, Pa., landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, with the 29th Infantry Division. A crowd applauds as he arrives at a ceremony in honor of the division Wednesday in La Cambe, France, as part of the commemoration of the 70th D-Day anniversary.
Claude Paris AP

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:40 am

Germaine and Lucien Rigault, 86 and 89 years old, respectively, lean out their first-floor window, watching people go by. They were here in the tiny French hamlet of La Cambe on June 6, 1944, the day the Allies invaded Normandy and began the liberation of France and Europe from Nazi control during World War II.

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Europe
5:46 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Le Pen Victory In France Presents A Paradox For Hollande

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Far-right political parties won big in European parliamentary elections in many countries last weekend. Their victory was particularly painful in France, a founding member of the European Union, and has deepened the sense of crisis for the very unpopular Socialist president, Francois Hollande. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris.

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Business
3:37 am
Fri May 23, 2014

France's Big Train Problem: New Fleet Too Wide For Platforms

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 5:52 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Somewhere in Paris, railways executives must be cursing in French. They ordered $4 billion worth of new trains. Turns out the trains are be too big to fit in many French train stations around the countries. Sacre bleu.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAIN WHISTLE)

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, BYLINE: Gleaming trains from across France pull into this Paris station. The decade-long modernization and expansion program is designed to handle the huge rise in passenger traffic across France.

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Europe
4:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Europe Steps Up Attacks Against Google

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 9:43 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And in Europe, Google is under increasing attack. A consortium of European digital companies has brought charges against the American Internet search giant for behaving like a monopoly. A ruling by the European Court of Justice could force Google to remove certain Web links from its search engine.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley sends this report from Paris.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (French spoken)

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Parallels
1:05 am
Tue May 13, 2014

The French Ask: Should We Be Building Warships For Russia?

The Vladivostok warship, a Mistral class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia, at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France, on Friday. The Vladivostok is one of two ships Russia ordered from France.
Jean-Sebastien Evrard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:57 am

French President Francois Hollande says that for now, France intends to go through with a deal to build two warships for the Russian navy. The first of the Mistral-class assault vessels is supposed to be delivered in October.

The $1.6 billion deal is the biggest sale to Russia ever by a NATO country. And three years ago, when the contract was signed, French officials hailed it as a sign that Moscow should be considered a partner, not an enemy. Still, there were critics among NATO allies even then.

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Europe
3:02 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

France's Far-Right's High Hopes On May Day Display

Hundreds of supporters of France's far-right National Front political party attend the party's annual May Day rally in front of the Paris Opera on Thursday.
Charles Platiau Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 6:32 pm

Decked out in red, white and blue clothing, and waving flags and banners, thousands of supporters of the far-right National Front party marched through central Paris on Thursday — known as May Day or International Workers Day — to hear charismatic leader Marine Le Pen. The traditional gathering began, as always, at a gilded statue of Joan of Arc, where Le Pen laid a wreath.

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Europe
3:43 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

In The City Of Love, There's No Love Lost For Tourists' Love Locks

Couples stand on the Pont des Arts, Paris' iconic footbridge over the Seine river, where thousands upon thousands of padlocks bearing love messages are attached to the railing, on Aug. 30, 2013.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 5:40 pm

Bearing messages ranging from the inspiring to the insipid, "love locks" can be found clamped onto bridges in major cities around the world. But no place has it worse than Paris, where the padlocks cover old bridges in a kind of urban barnacle, climbing up every free surface.

Take the Pont des Arts, Paris' most famous footbridge across the Seine river. Hundreds of thousands of padlocks cover its old iron railings; the light of day barely passes through them.

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Europe
2:15 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Firefights And Fallen Separatists, As Ukraine Offensive Advances

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 5:17 pm

Early Thursday morning, the Ukrainian military moved into towns held by militants. Firefights and casualties have been reported at a number of different locations.

Europe
2:21 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Moscow Answers Ukrainian Offensive With Warning Of Its Own

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:06 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned today that his country would respond if its citizens or interests came under attack in Ukraine. The warning came as the interim Ukrainian government ordered a new offensive against pro-Moscow militants occupying government buildings across Eastern Ukraine. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports from Donetsk.

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News
2:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Amid Ukraine's Faltering Hopes For Peace, Biden Speaks In Kiev

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 4:38 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Vice President Joe Biden warned Russia today that it must join in efforts to reduce tensions in Ukraine. Biden was in Ukraine's capital, Kiev, and it looks like last week's international agreement to disarm militant groups in that country is failing. Ukrainian president says the security service will resume an anti-terrorist operation following the discovery of two bodies in eastern Ukraine. The operation had been suspended after the agreement in Geneva.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley joins us from Donetsk.

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Europe
4:06 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Slovyansk Strengthens Resolve To Fight Kiev Government

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:32 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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News
2:05 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Eastern Ukraine Town Sent Reeling After Checkpoint Killings

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:26 pm

The killing of three people at a checkpoint in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk has increased tension in the town, where a government building is being occupied by pro-Moscow militants.

Europe
6:07 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Ukraine's Divide, Too Broad For Easter To Bridge?

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 9:53 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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World
3:09 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Despite Easter 'Truce,' Standoff In Ukraine Appears Steadfast

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 4:28 pm

In the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, the opposing camps seem increasingly entrenched, despite a diplomatic effort to ease tensions. Pro-Russian forces refuse to leave occupied buildings and public squares in the east. It's an uneasy Easter weekend and neither side is willing to budge.

Europe
9:22 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Both Sides Dig In Their Heels Over Crimea Crisis

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 11:49 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Parallels
3:36 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Dans Le Train, French Spend Their Commute Learning English

David Potier, head of commercial relations with France's state rail company, promotes the English classes and Canadian Afton Piercy is one of the teachers.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

On some French trains, the conductor's whistle signals more than just a departure. For commuters traveling on an express train from Reims to Paris — a 90-mile, 45-minute ride — it means the beginning of English class.

"Before the course, we were sleeping in the train in the morning," says passenger-student Gilles Hallais. "So I prefer practicing English."

Hallais, 44, is a journalist at French public radio. He says while he doesn't need English for his work, he does need it for his life. "I think it could be a handicap if I don't speak fluent English."

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World
3:10 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Paris Poised To Elect City Of Light's First Female Mayor

Originally published on Fri March 28, 2014 4:34 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Voters in Paris go to the polls Sunday to elect a new mayor. And for the first time in its long history, the city will have a woman at the helm. Despite the historical significance, the race has failed to spark much enthusiasm among voters. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has more.

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Europe
3:04 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Ukrainians Speculate What Russia Plans To Do Next

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:39 am

Ukrainians in Kiev are debating if the Russian military buildup on the border between the two countries is just saber rattling or the precursor to a second incursion.

Europe
10:00 am
Sun March 23, 2014

A Culture Of Unchecked Abuse Thrives In Ukraine And Crimea

Last week, a YouTube video of a far-right member of Ukraine's parliament roughing up the top executive of the state television network went viral.
Eurovision/YouTube

Originally published on Sun March 23, 2014 11:02 am

Since the upheaval in Ukraine began four months ago, the number of kidnappings of journalists and activists has been on the rise, though they've always been part of the Ukrainian political landscape.

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News
2:28 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

As Russia And The West Trade Shots Across The Bow, Kiev Looks On

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Europe
2:31 am
Thu March 20, 2014

For Crimea, Split From Ukraine Would Be Complicated And Costly

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:37 am

Crimea is a poor region, heavily subsidized by Kiev, and gets all its gas, water and food from Ukraine. Russia doesn't even have a land link with the Crimean peninsula and absorbing it will affect banks, schools, tourism and pensions for residents.

World
3:01 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Anger And Shock In Kiev Over Russia's Land Grab

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:28 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, Russia's actions are being celebrated in Crimea. Many people there are excited about the idea of joining Russia. The emotion is much more downtrodden in the capital, Kiev, where there's a feeling of loss setting in.

And here's Eleanor Beardsley is there.

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News
2:09 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Kiev Mobilizes Thousands Of Troops, Preparing For Worst

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 4:33 pm

The Ukrainian parliament has voted to mobilize 40,000 reservists as Kiev tries to beef up its military following the referendum in Crimea.

World
3:02 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Crimeans Vote To Leave Ukraine, Join Russia

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 9:59 am

Crimeans voted overwhelmingly on Sunday to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Morning Edition checks in with NPR's Gregory Warner in Simferopol and Eleanor Beardsley in Kiev for the latest.

Europe
2:06 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

With All Eyes On The East, A Seige Mentality Settles On Kiev

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

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Europe
4:23 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Hollande's U.S. Visit To Send Signal To French Entrepreneurs

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 5:45 am

French President Francois Hollande arrives in the U.S. on Monday. In addition to a stop at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia, Hollande will travel to Silicon Valley. The French president has been seen as anti-business, but he is trying to send a positive signal to French entrepreneurs with his visit to the world's high-tech capital.

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