Eleanor Beardsley, Paris Correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR) displayed her knowledge of international culture, economics and politics with rapid responses, keen perspectives and poise throughout a diverse round of questions asked Wednesday morning by members of the Golden Kiwanis for whom she was last week’s presenter.
Back in Columbia briefly to visit her father, Dr. Ed Beardsley, and also to attend Furman University’s homecoming, the Columbia native fielded queries about Brexit, refugee issues, and how the international news organ for whom she’s been a correspondent since 2004 gathers news.
Club members, commenting on her agility in switching languages at will, asked if she now spoke French as easily as English. She demonstrated with a few phrases, then added: “I am not sure I feel French, but I am Parisian.” She lives in the 15th Arrondissement in Paris with her husband and son, Max. Her husband Ulysee Gosset, also a journalist, has two older sons.
She acknowledged that live coverage is more stressful to conduct than structured interviews and explained how it gets processed: “I go over my script with my editor then it is mixed in Washington (DC.)”
While her coverage takes her into potentially dangerous political environments at times, it also is her foray into culturally-rich stories about the French joie d’vivre.
Eleanor majored in history and French at the Greenville, SC institution and returned to Columbia to earn a Master’s degree in international business at the University of South Carolina where her father was on faculty in the History department and is now retired.
After serving as a staff assistant in the office of (the late) Senator Strom Thurmond, she became a producer for a French television network based in Washington, DC. She moved to Europe in 2001 and worked with the United Nations mission in Kosovo. In 2004 she began reporting from France for NPR, detailing what is happening in that country and what that means to Americans.
This Kiwanis chapter schedules engaging speakers on topics of civic, state-wide, national and international interest and meets at 9:45 a.m. weekly at the Lourie Center in Maxcy Gregg Park.
Contributed by Rachel Haynie, Palmetto Artifacts