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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News
7:17 am
Thu March 26, 2015

French Prosecutor Points Toward Co-Pilot's Actions In Jet's Crash

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News
8:10 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Germanwings Jet Crashes In The French Alps

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Parallels
10:03 am
Sun March 22, 2015

Parisians Sing The Praises Of 'Singin In The Rain'

An actor performs during a March 9 rehearsal of Singin' in the Rain on the stage of the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. American musicals were rarely performed in France in the past, but have been a huge hit in recent years.
Jacques Demarthon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:43 am

Once again, Parisians are ecstatic over the latest American musical production playing at the city's Chatelet Theatre.

"Singin' in the Rain is a little corner of paradise," the French newspaper Le Figaro wrote of the show, which is playing through March 26 to sold-out audiences.

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Parallels
6:47 am
Sat March 7, 2015

For A French Rabbi And His Muslim Team, There's Work To Be Done

Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his French Jewish Muslim Friendship Association works with many young people in poor neighborhoods.
Pierre Andrieu AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 9:15 am

Rabbi Michel Serfaty drives to his first appointment of the day, in a suburb south of Paris, just a couple miles from the notorious housing project where gunman Amedy Coulibaly grew up.

Coulibaly is the self-proclaimed Islamist radical who killed a police officer and later four people in a Kosher market in Paris terrorist attacks in January.

France has Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish communities. For the last decade Serfaty and his team have been working in bleak places like this, trying to promote understanding between the two populations.

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Parallels
5:37 pm
Wed March 4, 2015

Many French Muslims Find Lives Of Integration, Not Separation

Three women, two of them partially veiled, walk past a hijabs shop in Paris. The wearing of the veil has been a serious point of contention in France, with the government banning its use in public schools and the wearing of face-covering garments, including burqas and niqabs, in public.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 7:11 am

Excited children shout out the answers during a Sunday afternoon Arabic class at the grand mosque in the Paris suburb of Argenteuil. The mosque has thousands of worshipers and is one of the largest in Western Europe.

Aboubakar Sabri is a part-time imam there. During the week he runs a successful elevator-construction firm in Paris. Sabri came to France from Morocco in 1980 for doctoral studies at the Sorbonne, then stayed and raised three daughters.

He says Muslims can live perfectly well in French secular society.

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Europe
2:19 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

French Authorities Pursue Drones Spotted Near Sensitive Sites

A drone is displayed Wednesday at Paris store Azur Modelisme. Law enforcement officials in the city are concerned about recent unexplained drone fly-bys of high-security sites, including the Eiffel Tower and the U.S. embassy.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 8:33 am

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Wed February 25, 2015

France Warns Russia And Its Allies Not To Advance On Ukrainian Port City

Ukrainian servicemen stand guard on a street near a burning building after a shelling by pro-Russian rebels of a residential sector in Mariupol, eastern Ukraine, last month.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 25, 2015 1:13 pm

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said this morning on French radio that if separatist troops advanced on the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, that would constitute a new red line.

"I told my counterpart Sergei Lavrov that such a move would mean Russia wants to make a link with Crimea, and that would change everything," said Fabius.

Then he stated that Europe would have to look at slapping new sanctions on Russia.

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Parallels
5:32 am
Sun February 15, 2015

After Paris Attacks, Voltaire's 'Tolerance' Is Back In Vogue

A woman looks at flowers placed near the headquarters of the magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, on Feb. 7. Islamist extremists stormed the offices of the satirical newspaper, killing 12 people in January.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 6:00 pm

Like most bookshops around Paris, Emile, which caters to young readers, sold all its copies of Voltaire's Treatise on Tolerance on Jan. 8, the day after two gunmen stormed into satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo killing eight journalists.

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks that took the lives of 20 people, Voltaire's manifesto in favor of religious tolerance — written in 1763 — is flying off the shelves.

Emile employee Laurianne Ledus says she was surprised that an 18th-century manuscript could become a bestseller today.

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Europe
2:20 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Ukraine Dominates Meeting Of E.U. Leaders In Brussels

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 4:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
1:33 am
Tue February 10, 2015

The French Debate: Free Speech Versus Hate Speech

Students hold pens and signs reading "I am Charlie" in La Rochelle, France, on Jan. 8. They were paying tribute to the 12 people killed the day before in an attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Xavier Leoty AFP/Getty

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 6:39 am

When terrorists attacked a satirical magazine in Paris last month, killing eight journalists, millions took to the streets in support of free speech. They waved pencils and carried signs in solidarity with the magazine Charlie Hebdo.

But in the weeks since those attacks, scores have also been arrested for condoning terrorism and inciting racial and religious hatred. Many now wonder if the government's crackdown on hate speech is compromising free speech.

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Parallels
2:14 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Russian Economic Woes Hit France's Ski Slopes

Russian tourists typically flock to the luxury ski resort of Megeve in the French Alps, but the weak ruble has kept them away this year.
Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 9:16 am

Russia's worsening economy is having an impact far beyond its borders — even affecting Alpine ski resorts where Russians once flocked.

For the past decade, they've come in large numbers to ski the fabled Alpine slopes around Mont Blanc. But the drop in the ruble is now keeping them away. And that's having an effect on the wintertime economy in the region.

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Parallels
4:28 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

For Many French Jews, Anti-Semitism Has A Clear Source

French soldiers stand guard in front of the entrance of a synagogue in Lille, northern France, earlier this month.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:18 pm

"Making aliyah," or returning to Israel, is usually a cause for celebration among Jews. But recently fear has pushed many Jews to leave France — a record 7,000 departed last year.

And that was before the recent Paris attacks that included the killing of four Jews at a kosher grocery store.

Jean Marc Illouz, a former senior correspondent for French television, who is also Jewish, says he's been pushing back against what he calls ridiculous comments on the Internet about anti-Semitism in France. He says Americans seem to think it's a resurgence of Nazism.

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Europe
3:21 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Broad Anti-Terror Crackdown Covers France, Germany, Belgium

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 4:32 pm

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Parallels
3:29 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Some French Muslims See Conspiracies In Paris Shootings

A man walks through the Grand Mosque in Paris on Jan. 9. Some Muslims have questioned the official version of the shootings in Paris and embraced conspiracy theories. In schools, some Muslim students refused to take part in a moment of silence for the victims.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:43 pm

Last week's shootings in Paris shocked the French. Many received another jolt when they learned that some Muslim students refused to join in the minute of national silence observed across the country following the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

The newspaper Le Figaro quoted one teacher in a heavily Muslim neighborhood in the eastern city of Strasbourg as saying that 80 percent of her students did not participate.

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Europe
2:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

'Charlie Hebdo' Keeps The Presses Running, Will Print 3 Milllion Copies

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
4:31 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Palpable Relief On Parisian Streets After Hostage Crises End

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 5:06 pm

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Europe
2:36 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

France Hostage Crises End After Chaotic Day

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 3:06 pm

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News
10:48 am
Fri January 9, 2015

In France, Simultaneous Standoffs Erupt In Violence

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Europe
2:16 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

France Mobilizes 88,000 Police, Soldiers In Manhunt

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:29 pm

French police are still searching for the gunmen who killed 12 people in Wednesday's attack on the Charlie Ebdo publication in Paris. They also investigated what appears to have been a second attack on Thursday, in which two police officers were shot — one fatally.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Europe
4:02 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

French Government Organizes Massive Manhunt To Find Gunmen

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 4:17 pm

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Europe
5:58 am
Wed January 7, 2015

Gunmen Storm Satirical Magazine's Office In Paris

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 11:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
1:27 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Why Buy When You Can Borrow? App Connects People And Stuff

Peerby allows people to share their stuff through a mobile app for free.
Peerby

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 11:41 am

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Parallels
1:31 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Europe's Far Right And Putin Get Cozy, With Benefits For Both

Marine Le Pen (center), leader of France's far-right National Front party, has visited Russia on several occasions, and a Russian bank recently lent her party $11 million.
Jean-Philippe Ksiazek AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 9:28 am

Last month at a meeting of the far-right National Front in the French city of Lyon, there was a special guest: Andrey Isayev, a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin's political party.

The apparent contradiction of political philosophies didn't seem to dampen the crowd's enthusiasm for Isayev's message: Long live Franco-Russian friendship, and down with the European Union! Isayev called the EU a "spineless lackey of the United States."

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Parallels
1:28 am
Thu December 25, 2014

The French Go Crazy For 'An American In Paris'

The stage version of the Hollywood classic An American in Paris combines British, French and American artistic traditions and stars Leanne Cope and Robert Fairchild in the roles made famous by Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly.
Marie-Noelle Robert Courtesy of Theatre du Chatelet

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 1:49 pm

Parisians are going gaga over An American in Paris, the first-ever stage production of the 1951 Hollywood film starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and with a musical score by George Gershwin.

The performance at Paris' Chatelet theater is getting rave reviews and has completely sold out. It's not hard to see why: The stage comes alive with the story of an American artist and the young French dancer he falls in love with. It's filled with fabulous dancing and all those great Gershwin tunes.

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Europe
2:16 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

French Hostage Released After Being Held For 3 Years By Al-Qaida

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 7:38 am

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

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A French hostage returned to Paris today after being held for three years by al-Qaida in the Sahara. NPR's Eleanor Beardsley reports the man's release has revived questions about whether and how governments should deal with hostage takers.

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Goats and Soda
3:08 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

A Tale Of Dueling Ebola Songs: One From Britain, One From Africa

TK
Courtesy of Jean-Christophe Nougaret/MSF

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 1:14 pm

In separate recording studios and separate songs, two groups of international stars have harnessed the power of their voices to help raise awareness of Ebola.

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Europe
3:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

French Lawmakers Vote To Recognize Palestinian State

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 5:41 am

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

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Europe
3:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Santa's Black-Faced Helpers Are Under Fire In The Netherlands

People line the road to greet Sinterklaas, the Dutch version of Santa Claus, and his "Swarte Piet" (Black Pete) sidekicks in Amsterdam on Nov. 17, 2013. In the past few years, Black Pete has come under fire. Some say it's a beloved tradition that should remain; others say it is a racist stereotype.
Peter Dejong AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 4:49 pm

For an American, watching a Sinterklaas parade, like the one I recently went to in Amsterdam, can be a bit of a shock. Because dancing around the dear old Dutch Santa are his helpers, known as Zwarte Piet, or Black Pete.

And Black Pete is played by scores of white people dressed up in black face ... and wearing Afro wigs.

In the past few years, Black Pete has come under fire. A beloved tradition for some, others say he is a racist stereotype. And the increasingly rancorous debate over Black Pete has gripped the Netherlands.

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Parallels
3:20 am
Sun October 26, 2014

Stranded In France, Migrants Believe Britain Is The Answer

French riot policemen force out migrants who were hidden in a truck that was making its way to the ferry terminal in Calais in western France on Wednesday. The cross-Channel port has become the last barrier for economic and political migrants trying to enter Britain illegally.
Pascal Rossignol Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 2:38 pm

Once known for lace-making, tourism, and being the closest French port to England, Calais has now come to represent a focal point of illegal immigration.

Hundreds of migrants roam the town by day. At night they sleep in squalid tent cities, their clothing hanging on fences and from the trees. The migrants have fled war, poverty and dictatorship, in places like Eritrea, Afghanistan and Sudan. They've traveled over desert and sea, on journeys that often take years.

Now, they're trying to get the last 30 miles to England.

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Parallels
1:39 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Egality N'est Pas La Réalité: French Women Wage Online War On Sexism

Caroline De Haas, 34, launched Macholand.fr after a company responded dismissively to her complaint against its sexist advertising.
Courtesy of EGAE

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:39 pm

Caroline De Haas has had enough. The French feminist, 34, became so fed up with sexism in the country that she's launched a website to fight it.

Tapping on her keyboard, De Haas brings up the new site, Macholand.fr. On the screen are several "actions" targeted at sexist politicians or advertisers who have crossed the line.

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