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
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/.

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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.

Animals
6:00 am
Sun February 9, 2014

France Takes A Stand, Crushing Ivory Beneath The Eiffel Tower

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR NEW. I'm Rachel Martin.

This past week, France became the first European country to destroy illegal ivory in a high profile public demonstration. It did so underneath the Eiffel Tower as part of a global effort to call attention to the illicit ivory trade. Officials say the trade not only wipes out the world's population of elephants, it also funds terrorism.

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley has the story.

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Europe
2:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Comedian Runs Afoul Of France's Strict Laws On Hate Speech

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 4:55 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.

French police raided the Paris offices and home of a controversial comedian today. The comedian is known by his stage name of Dieudonne, he's been accused of making anti-Semitic remarks during his performances, although he denies that. The French government has banned his current show, sparking a debate in France about the limits of free speech.

More from Paris and from NPR's Eleanor Beardsley.

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Europe
2:43 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Musical Theater Takes The Stage In Paris

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 3:32 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

To see a musical, you might travel to New York or even to London, but Paris? Aside from the language barrier, musicals have always been considered silly by French standards and not widely embraced, but that is changing. As NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports, Parisians have been enjoying a string of musical theater performances at one of the city's venerable theaters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Africa
3:12 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

On Third Anniversary, Tunisians May Get A Constitution

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:33 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Arab Spring that brought those changes to Egypt began in Tunisia, exactly three years ago today. Tunisians overthrew their dictator, prompting a wave of uprisings across the region. But three years on, lawmakers are still struggling to ratify a new constitution and lay the foundations of their country's future. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley is in Tunis and sent this report.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Africa
4:38 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Is This Arab Spring Country Finally Getting It Right?

Tunisians wave their national flag and shout slogans on Tuesday in the capital, Tunis, as they attend a rally marking the third anniversary of the uprising that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 3:28 pm

Tunisia — the country that launched the Arab uprisings — is celebrating the third anniversary of its revolution Tuesday.

Since the departure of Tunisia's dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, there's been a struggle between religious and secular forces, which has been the case in other Arab Spring countries.

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Middle East
7:56 am
Sun January 12, 2014

New Constitution Is A Sign Of Tunisia's Optimism

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 9:41 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On Tuesday, Tunisia will celebrate the third anniversary of its revolution. Tunisia is the country that inspired uprisings across the Arab world. Since then, that country has gone through tough times but it seems to have found its way again. Opposing sides have drafted the new constitution together. It will be ready in a couple days, and new elections are set for this year. That sets Tunisia apart from neighboring Egypt and Libya, where the Arab Spring uprisings have brought violence and political upheaval.

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Europe
1:37 am
Thu January 9, 2014

No Rain On His Parade: Parisian Preserves Art Of Umbrella Repair

An estimated 15 million umbrellas are thrown away in France each year. Thierry Millet is trying to change that, one umbrella repair at a time.
Lejeune Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:21 am

When an umbrella breaks, most people just throw it away — and pick up another one, from a street vendor or maybe a drugstore.

But what if you got it repaired instead? Would you even be able to find someone who could do the work?

In Paris, it's still possible, but just barely. What was once a thriving profession has dwindled dramatically. These days, Thierry Millet, 58, says he is the city's last umbrella repairman.

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Media
1:04 am
Wed January 1, 2014

In Troubled Magazine World, 'La Hulotte' Is One Rare Bird

Pierre Deom has been writing and illustrating La Hulotte since 1972. He released his 100th issue (lower right) in November.
Francois Nascimbeni AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

The journalism world may be in crisis, but one magazine in France has been steadily gaining subscribers for 40 years. It's a nature journal called La Hulotte, and twice a year it focuses on an animal or plant indigenous to the French countryside. The magazine published its 100th issue in November. It has more than 150,000 subscribers in many countries and is doing terrific financially.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:03 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Chopin's Favorite Piano Factory Plays Its Final Chord

The Pleyel piano factory, which once supplied instruments to Frederic Chopin, will close its doors at the end of the year.
Francois Guillot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 1:47 pm

One of the world's oldest and most iconic piano makers, Pleyel, will close its factory doors in Paris at the end of 2013.

The French press characterized the bankruptcy as inevitable in the face of cheaper competition from China. But many disagree: They say Pleyel could have survived by adapting better to the times.

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Europe
6:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Why French Troops Are Intervening In Africa — Again

A French soldier talks to a crowd outside a church in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, on Thursday.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 12:19 pm

Once again, French television screens are full of images of joyous Africans welcoming French troops.

In January, the French military intervened in Mali to help liberate large swaths of the country from radical jihadists. Now, for the second time this year, France has sent troops into an African country to quell violence.

Last week, French soldiers went into the Central African Republic to stop sectarian killings. In news reports from the Central African Republic, crowds yell, "Vive la France!" as they run out to greet convoys of French soldiers.

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Art & Design
3:47 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Royal Gardener Planted The Seed Of Urban Planning At Versailles

Andre Le Notre pumped in water from the Seine River to create the Grand Canal at Chateau of Versailles.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 10, 2013 8:45 am

France's Chateau of Versailles has pulled out all the stops for one of its favorite sons, gardener Andre Le Notre, who designed the palace's famous gardens. This year, to mark the 400th anniversary of Le Notre's birth, several of the garden's fountains are being restored and the chateau is hosting an exhibit on his life through February 2014.

Experts say Le Notre's work was so groundbreaking, it continues to influence contemporary urban architecture.

'The Interlocutor Of Kings'

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