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.
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Europe faces a surge of coronavirus infections and a slow vaccination roll out. The European Union is giving itself emergency powers to curb exports of COVID-19 vaccines produced within the bloc.
Health experts in Europe say the continent is facing a third wave of coronavirus infection — exacerbated by virulent new strains and a lack of vaccines.
It could've been the E.U.'s finest hour, but instead, critics say the bloc's vaccine rollout is a bungled mess that included a diplomatic row with Ireland and the U.K.
European countries put more restrictive measures in place to control the spread of COVID-19. France has a strict overnight curfew, but the government says that's not enough to slow the virus down.
France has been slowed in its vaccine rollout by the large number of people who say they are opposed to vaccinations. But the rapid spread of COVID-19 appears to be changing some skeptics' minds.
From France to Germany to The Netherlands, citizens are venting frustration over the pace of the mass vaccination program.
Europe is trying to battle a new COVID-19 spike with lockdowns. Although the short-term restrictions can be severe, people have free healthcare and income support from the region's governments.
After letting its guard down this summer, Europe is dealing with a massive second wave of the coronavirus that doctors say will most likely be more deadly than the first.