- MIBS '92
- 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner
- Lead NPR European Correspondent
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 become a leading correspondent for
NPR in Europe, including leading the coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine from
the frontlines in February 2022.
Beardsley was 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 covered
the turmoil in Ukraine from early on, including the flashpoint eastern city of Donetsk,
and she also reported from Athens on 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
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.