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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10:18 am
Wed May 13, 2015

One Woman's Struggle To Survive 'Too Much Vacation' In France

NPR Paris correspondent Eleanor Beardsley with her husband, Ulysse Gosset, and son, Maxime, on a ski vacation in the Alps in February. When she first moved to France, Beardsley enjoyed the frequent holidays. But combined with many school breaks, she and other working parents often find it becomes a burden.
Courtesy of Eleanor Beardsley

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 11:04 am

May in France is known as the Swiss cheese month because of all the holiday holes in it. There are four national holidays and thus four long weekends. May 1 was the May Day workers' fete, May 8 marked the World War II victory in Europe, and there are two others I'll get to in a moment.

Instead of enjoying the long weekends, I find myself struggling to cope. I imagine working parents in Boston felt this way about snow days this past winter. Paris doesn't get buried in snow. But the holidays — and the school days off — are relentless.

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Parallels
2:36 am
Tue May 12, 2015

Still Playing: The Theater That Saw The Birth Of Cinema

The world's oldest operating cinema, the Eden, in La Ciotat, southern France, screened some of the first films of the Lumiere brothers in 1895.
Anne-Christine Poujoulat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 12:22 pm

Not far from the glitzy Mediterranean film festival venue of Cannes lies another town with a connection to cinema. There are no stars or red carpet, but La Ciotat has an even longer relationship with film, and boasts the world's oldest surviving movie theater.

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Europe
6:37 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Three Generations Of Le Pens Fight For Party's Future

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 5:29 am

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

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Parallels
4:20 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Replica Of Lafayette's Ship Re-Creates Historic Voyage To America

The Marquis de Lafayette sailed across the Atlantic to America aboard the original Hermione in 1780 and joined the American rebels in their struggle for independence from Great Britain. This replica will retrace his voyage; it's scheduled to arrive in Yorktown, Va., on June 5.
Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 1:02 am

Hundreds of American towns, streets and parks are named after the Marquis de Lafayette — the French general who came in 1780 to help George Washington in the struggle for independence.

Now, an exact replica of the general's ship is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean, retracing Lafayette's voyage.

The magnificent "tall ship" is anchored in the waters off the coast of Fouras in western France. Its towering masts and 18th century rigging set it apart from any other boat out here.

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Europe
3:37 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

After Apartment Search, German Investigators Say Co-Pilot Hid An Illness

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 12:06 pm

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

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News
8:17 am
Thu March 26, 2015

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

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

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9:10 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Germanwings Jet Crashes In The French Alps

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Parallels
11:03 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 6:43 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
7:47 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 10:15 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
6:37 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 8:11 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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