Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in 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 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 traveled 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.
In France, Beardsley has covered three presidential elections, including the surprising win by outsider Emmanuel Macron in 2017. Less than two years later, Macron's presidency was severely tested by France's Yellow vest movement, which Beardsley followed closely.
Beardsley especially enjoys historical topics and has covered several anniversaries of the Normandy D-day invasion as well as the centennial of World War I.
In sports, Beardsley closely covered the Women's World Soccer Cup held in France in June 2019 (and won by Team USA!) and regularly follows the Tour de France cycling race.
Prior to moving to Paris, Beardsley worked for three years with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. She also worked as a television news producer for French broadcaster TF1 in Washington, D.C., and as a staff assistant to South Carolina Sen. 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. "I love reporting on the French because there are so many stereotypes about them 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, South Carolina, 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.
European leaders are working their own diplomatic avenues to end the tensions and worry that talk of a Russian invasion of Ukraine could be deepening divisions among them.
"You have to find ways to live a normal life," says a mother of four in Kyiv. She and her family keep their car full of fuel and plan to take refuge in a village outside the capital if Russia attacks.
Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces were set up to train part-time reservists but last year the drills were opened to ordinary citizens — to foster popular resistance if the military is overwhelmed.
As Europe strives to curb greenhouse gas emissions, France is expanding nuclear power — setting itself at odds with Germany over what constitutes clean energy.
NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer talks to correspondent, Eleanor Beardsley, who has been traveling around Ukraine.
Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine has a large Russian population, but opinion has turned against Russia since the Kemlin stirred up a separatist war in the nearby Donbas and is threatening invasion.
After abruptly closing in March 2020, France's alpine ski resorts have reopened. But this year you'll need more than just goggles and a lift pass.
The World Health Organization predicts "a tsunami of cases" as the omicron variant fuels a surge of COVID infections. More than a million cases a being reported globally every day around the world.
A holiday musical review celebrating the work of Cole Porter is playing to rapturous audiences in Paris.
An extreme-right TV commentator has thrown the political world in France into turmoil by launching a presidential campaign ahead of next April's election.