Eleanor Beardsley

Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in June 2004, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy.

In the spring of 2007, Beardsley covered the French presidential campaign and election of President Nicholas Sarkozy, and has been busy following his flurry of activity and reforms since then. 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.



Fri October 17, 2014

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

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

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

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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Thu October 9, 2014
Goats and Soda

Doctors Without Borders Changed The Way We Heal The World

A health worker for Doctors Without Borders checks patients at a mobile clinic in the village of Zere in the Central African Republic.
Ton Koene Courtesy of MSF

All day long, forklifts fill departing cargo trucks at a Doctors Without Borders distribution center not far from the Bordeaux airport. From here, the humanitarian supplies make their way to some of the most miserable spots on the planet.

The 16,744-square-yard warehouse is stocked with everything from tuberculosis kits to tires. It looks like a humanitarian Ikea. Specially marked boxes are being packed with medicines, supplies and contamination suits. These "Ebola kits" are on their way to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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Mon September 15, 2014

The Streets Are Empty As The Shells Keep Falling In Eastern Ukraine

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:48 pm

Smoke rises near Donetsk's airport on Sunday amid increased shelling. Pro-Russian forces are trying to dislodge Ukrainian troops. The renewed fighting is testing a fragile cease-fire.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

We ride through the empty streets of Donetsk, closely following a van of monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the multinational organization making sure the peace in eastern Ukraine is being adhered to by both sides.

Leading our convoy is a local police car from the Donetsk People's Republic, the unofficial name given to this area by the rebels aspiring to separate from Ukraine.

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Fri September 12, 2014

Life In Eastern Ukraine Returns To Something Like Normalcy

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 11:05 am

People wait for a bus in the empty streets of Donetsk on Tuesday. The city's population, which was 900,000, is now down to around 300,000. It is beginning to return to normal following a cease-fire, which was signed last week and is mostly holding. But residents are divided over the region's future.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Irina Vladimirovna's four small children skip down a broad sidewalk in downtown Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine, happy to be able to play outdoors again. The 33-year-old mother and kindergarten teacher strolls behind with her mother, Ludmila Timofeyvna. They've been living for weeks in an underground shelter to escape this summer's shelling between separatists and the Ukrainian government.

"We had nowhere else to escape to," Vladimirovna says.

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Mon September 8, 2014

After A Tumultuous Summer, Ukrainian Kids Return To School

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:53 pm

Many students at Kiev's Lyceum for the Humanities have relatives in Russia or parts of eastern Ukraine controlled by separatists. The conflict has divided families and caused many problems, they say, but it has also strengthened their sense of Ukraine's identity.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Music resounds through the hallways to signal the end of class at Kiev's Lyceum for the Humanities, one of the Ukrainian capital's top public high schools.

Lively students dressed in dark blue school uniforms pour into the stairwells as they make their way to the next class. Once they're seated at their desks, their teacher explains that today a foreign journalist has come to meet them.

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