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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Parallels
4:06 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Does Less Latin Mean Dumbing Down? France Debates School Reform

Striking French teachers hold a German flag as they take part in a nationwide protest against new measures aimed at revamping the country's school system, in Marseille, France, on May 19. France's 840,000 teachers are largely opposed to the reform, their unions say, fearing it will increase competition between schools and exacerbate inequalities.
Jean-Paul Pelissier Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 7:45 pm

Reforming the education system in any country can be tricky. But in France, where learning is highly centralized and public school (l'ecole de la Republique) a symbol of French greatness, it's all but impossible.

Several French presidents have tried and failed. President Francois Hollande's second attempt has traditionalists up in arms and critics on the right and left screaming that French schools are being dumbed down.

Teachers, students and some parents took to the streets of cities across the country recently to denounce the government's project.

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Europe
4:33 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

European Union Introduces Quota Plan To Address Migrant Crisis

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 6:56 pm

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

Parallels
11:18 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 12:04 pm

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
3:36 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 1:22 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
8:00 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Three Generations Of Le Pens Fight For Party's Future

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 6:29 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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