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.

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4:00am

Thu May 12, 2011
Business

France Moves To Ban Shale Gas Drilling

Lawmakers in France's lower house of parliament have voted to ban a controversial gas and oil drilling technique. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is widely used in the United States, but environmentalists say it can pollute ground water.

4:00am

Wed May 4, 2011
Africa

Libyan Rebels Hang On To Strategic Border Crossing

A strategic border crossing from western Libya and Tunisia came under fire twice over the weekend, falling briefly back into the hands of troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi. The crossing is a lifeline for Libyan rebels and citizens.

12:01am

Thu April 28, 2011
Africa

Refugees Stream Into Tunisia To Flee Libya Fighting

There have been reports over the past 10 days in Libya of heavy fighting between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and anti-government rebels in a mountainous region southwest of Tripoli, prompting civilians to flee for Tunisia through a border post that was captured by the rebels last week.

Less than a week ago, the desert border post was controlled by Gadhafi's forces. But in a nighttime battle last Thursday, rebels took it.

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6:43pm

Mon April 25, 2011
Africa

Algeria's 'Black Decade' Still Weighs Heavily

Islamist radicals killed more than a dozen Algerian soldiers last week in a rare flare-up of violence between Muslim extremists and the Algerian state.

During the 1990s the government fought a brutal civil war against an Islamist insurgency that it eventually won. But at an enormous cost: the death of some 200,000 civilians.

Algerians say it's the memory of those years of violence and upheaval that has kept people from demonstrating in the streets against their government; even if they face some of the same problems as other Arab nations.

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3:44pm

Fri March 25, 2011
Conflict In Libya

France's Sarkozy Enjoys Burst Of Public Support

While President Obama is facing some criticism over America's role in Libya — it's just the opposite for French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

He pushed for military action against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from the start of the uprising. A few critics have suggested Sarkozy's motives are linked to boosting his flagging domestic popularity.

But for the most part, Sarkozy's bold actions have earned him a rare respite from the usual barrage of criticism.

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