Eleanor Beardsley
NPR

Eleanor Beardsley

Correspondent, Paris

Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in June 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 the two waves 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 travelled 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 to follow its progress on the road to democracy.

In France, Beardsley covered both 2007 and 2012 French presidential elections. She also 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 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, S.C., 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.

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Tareq Oubrou, an imam in Bordeaux, delivers a sermon in French and Arabic at the city's grand mosque. Most imams in France speak only in Arabic. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

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Eleanor Beardsley/NPR

In France, Some Muslims Seek To 'Adapt' Islam To Secular Culture

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French farmer Cedric Herrou arrives at a court in Nice on Friday for his trial for illegally assisting migrants. Herrou, who helped African migrants to enter the country from Italy, was given a suspended fine of 3,000 euros, about $3,000. Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images

At Risk Of Arrest, Villagers Aid Migrants Crossing French-Italian Border

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Emmanuel Macron Emerges As Front-Runner In French Presidential Election

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Louvre Is Locked Down For A Short Time After A Man Attacks Guard

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French Presidential Candidate Falters After Reported Hiring Scandal

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Far-right leader and candidate in next spring's French presidential elections, Marine Le Pen, acknowledges applause at a meeting of European nationalists in Koblenz, Germany, last weekend. Michael Probst/AP hide caption

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Michael Probst/AP

France's Far-Right Candidate For President Is A Contender

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France's Marine Le Pen Contends Populism Is The Future

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The new law was prompted by concerns over the intrusion of work into private lives. Carlina Teteris/Getty Images hide caption

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Carlina Teteris/Getty Images

For French Law On Right To 'Disconnect,' Much Support — And A Few Doubts

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The French government has bulit an exact replica of the prehistoric paintings in Lascaux, next to the originals. This photo was taken in the replicated cave. The originals were painted some 20,000 years ago, but are closed to the public to protect the artwork. Eleanor Beardsley/NPR hide caption

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Next To The Original, France Replicates Prehistoric Cave Paintings

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Frenchman Jean Yves Boyer buys a copy of the French weekly Le Canard Enchainé, which marks its 100th anniversary this year. It sells 400,000 copies a week and is profitable, though it has no advertising and just a bare-bones webpage. Courtesy of Rebecca Rosman hide caption

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Courtesy of Rebecca Rosman

Ambulance and police cars outside an Islamic center in central Zurich on Monday after three people were injured by gunfire. Police say the gunman later killed himself. Michael Buholzer/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael Buholzer/AFP/Getty Images

Dounia Bouzar, shown here in 2015, helps parents in France who want to prevent their kids from joining militant groups like ISIS — whose recruiters, she says, "set out to break every emotional, social and historical tie in the kids' lives." Charles Platiau/Reuters hide caption

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Defusing The Lure Of Militant Islam In France, Despite Death Threats

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Mourad Benchellali speaks to a group of students and parents in Strasbourg, France. In 2001 Benchellali traveled to Afghanistan to visit his brother, and was forced into an al-Qaida training camp. He now speaks out against radical Islam. Courtesy of Mourad Benchellali hide caption

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Courtesy of Mourad Benchellali

A French Community Tries To Get A Handle On Radicalization

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East Aleppo Mayor Pleads For Help From The International Community

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