Elise Hu

Elise Hu is an award-winning correspondent assigned to NPR's newest international bureau, in Seoul, South Korea. She's responsible for covering geopolitics, business and life in both Koreas and Japan. She previously covered the intersection of technology and culture for the network's on-air, online and multimedia platforms.

Hu joined NPR in 2011 to coordinate the digital development and editorial vision for the StateImpact network, a state government reporting project focused on member stations.

Before joining NPR, she was one of the founding reporters at The Texas Tribune, a non-profit digital news startup devoted to politics and public policy. While at the Tribune, Hu oversaw television partnerships and multimedia projects; contributed to The New York Times' expanded Texas coverage and pushed for editorial innovation across platforms.

An honors graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia's School of Journalism, she previously worked as the state political reporter for KVUE-TV in Austin, WYFF-TV in Greenville, SC, and reported from Asia for the Taipei Times.

Her work has earned a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism, a National Edward R. Murrow award for best online video, beat reporting awards from the Texas Associated Press and The Austin Chronicle once dubiously named her the "Best TV Reporter Who Can Write."

Outside of work, Hu has taught digital journalism at Northwestern University and Georgetown University's journalism schools and serves as a guest co-host for TWIT.tv's program, Tech News Today. She's also an adviser to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where she keeps up with emerging media and technology as a panelist for the Knight News Challenge.

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The Salt
3:36 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Koreans Have An Insatiable Appetite For Watching Strangers Binge Eat

Rachel Ahn, who goes by "Aebong-ee," is among the top 100 most-watched mukbang stars in South Korea.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 10:55 am

Move over, cooking shows. In Korea, the big food fad is eating shows, or mukbang. Korean viewers are so glued to watching strangers binge eating that the live-streamers consuming calories in front of webcams are becoming minor celebrities in Korean culture.

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All Tech Considered
4:52 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Anthem Hack Renews Calls For Laws To Better Prevent Breaches

Anthem says 80 million company records were accessed in what may be one of the largest health care data breaches to date.
Aaron P. Bernstein Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 2:46 pm

The call for more systemic changes to prevent mega-hacks is getting louder after hackers hit Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer. The company says cyberthieves gained access to the addresses, employment information and Social Security numbers of 80 million customers and employees.

Eighty million individuals is a lot — it's roughly the populations of California, Texas and Illinois combined.

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Just Plane Sad: A Show Of Support For SkyMall

SkyMall art by Kevin and Miles Taylor.
Kevin and Miles Taylor

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 5:30 pm

Whether it was the $85,000 personal submarine craft, the telepathic obstacle course or the yeti yard ornaments we could never quite afford, in-flight catalog SkyMall — and the kitschy items sold inside its pages — are going to be hard to forget.

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The Two-Way
11:50 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Goodbye, Garden Yeti: In-Flight Catalog SkyMall Files For Bankruptcy

A signature SkyMall item: The hot dog bun toaster.
SkyMall

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 9:00 am

SkyMall, the ubiquitous in-flight catalog that reliably greets you in the seatback pocket, is falling victim to technological innovation.

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All Tech Considered
4:51 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Remaking Vegas In A Tech Billionaire's Image: Will It Last?

Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh is spearheading an effort to revitalize downtown Las Vegas and make it a tech hub, home for small businesses and a creative community.
Isaac Brekken for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 12:08 pm

This story is the latest in NPR's Cities Project.

Fifteen minutes north of the iconic Vegas Strip is the economically depressed downtown Las Vegas, a much-forgotten part of town. It's also an area of tremendous change in recent years, since it's the heart of tech billionaire Tony Hsieh's ambitious Downtown Project — an effort that's part urban revitalization, part social experiment.

Three years in, it's not going as quickly as he expected.

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Technology
4:29 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Online Sellers Pop Up In Real Life, For A Limited Time Only

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 12:13 pm

One-click shopping is changing the ways people shop and retailers sell their wares. But some online retailers are opening physical stores — some of which last as short as a day. (This story originally aired on All Things Considered on July 28, 2014.)

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All Tech Considered
8:02 am
Wed December 24, 2014

In Its Strange Journey, 'The Interview' Becomes An Art House Film

The Alamo Drafthouse theater chain will show The Interview starting on Christmas Day.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:59 am

A buddy flick about killing North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un will be shown on Christmas Day after all, at least in about 200 independent theaters. This kind of small-scale distribution model and the politics surrounding The Interview give what was once a big-budget Hollywood release the spirit of an art house film.

In the satirical film, which is at the center of a geopolitical tussle, Seth Rogen and James Franco play television producers who get an interview with Kim but are then hired by the CIA to "take him out."

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Movies
5:08 am
Wed December 24, 2014

More Than 200 Theaters To Show 'The Interview' On Christmas Day

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 7:46 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
5:30 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

North Korea's Cyber Skills Get Attention Amid Sony Hacking Mystery

James Franco (left) and Seth Rogen in The Interview. The North Korean dictator promised "merciless counter-measures" if this film was released.
Ed Araquel AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:32 pm

The most closed country on earth — North Korea — is now denying its involvement in one of the biggest corporate hacks in history.

Someone attacked Sony Pictures Entertainment last week and made public troves of stolen data, including five unreleased films, medical records and salaries of nearly 7,000 global employees. But before a recent denial — another North Korean diplomat played coy about the country's involvement.

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

As Supreme Court Considers Online Threats, An Update On Justin Carter

An undated photo of Justin Carter, who's facing a felony "terroristic threat" charge in Texas.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 11:57 am

The Supreme Court is tackling an interesting question Monday: When is a seemingly threatening online message a crime?

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The Two-Way
10:32 am
Thu November 27, 2014

A Nationwide Outpouring Of Support For Tiny Ferguson Library

The Ferguson Public Library.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 12:12 pm

The Ferguson Public Library is just a block away from the center of demonstrations at the Ferguson Police Department. As we've reported, when violent protests this week led to the burning of more than a dozen businesses and the uncertainty caused schools to close, the library stayed open.

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The Two-Way
4:58 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

The Psychological Effects Of Seeing Police Everywhere In Ferguson

A police officer guards a closed street where protesters and looters rampaged businesses following the grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo., on Tuesday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:31 am

After a night of unrest and violence, police are posted at every intersection in Ferguson, Mo. National Guard troops man camouflaged Humvees in strip mall parking lots. The governor ordered more. Is it making the community feel safer?

One thing's for sure: It's keeping people from moving about as they normally would during this holiday week.

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The Two-Way
3:07 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Crowds Confront Police, Businesses Burn In Ferguson Chaos

Police gather on the street as protesters react after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 9:07 am

In the moments before midnight in Ferguson, so many businesses were ablaze at once, and so many demonstrations had broken out in St. Louis County neighborhoods, that a local officer put it this way: "We've lost control of the area a little bit; we recommend just getting out of the area completely."

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All Tech Considered
4:57 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Doppelnamers: When Your Digital Identity Is Also Someone Else's

Writer Mike Sager, posing with some of the other Mike Sagers he met, in 2005.
Courtesy of Mike Sager

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 10:45 am

Finding your email double or Twitter twin is easier than ever, with search engines and social media reminding us how un-special our names really are.

It's made for a few fun mix-ups for Texas-based videographer Justin Dehn, who befriended another videographer named Justin Dehn, who's based in Minneapolis.

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Business
11:24 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Apple's Tim Cook In Rare Company As Publicly Gay Chief Executive

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Many Seek Justice In Ferguson, Mo., But Will Have To Wait Awhile

A memorial sits at the site of Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Mo. Any investigation into his shooting by a police officer is likely to take months.
Larry W. Smith EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

Both the county case and the federal investigation into the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown are expected to take time, as are basic answers about the circumstances that led to the black teenager's death Aug. 9.

About two dozen people showed up Wednesday in front of the St. Louis County Courthouse to demonstrate against County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch, who is preparing to present evidence in the case to a grand jury.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Ferguson Teachers Use Day Off As Opportunity For A Civics Lesson

Teachers with the Jennings School District pick up trash Tuesday on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., the scene of nightly police clashes. Jennings and the neighboring Ferguson school district have canceled class due to ongoing unrest.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 8:30 pm

Chaos and unrest overnight have kept the National Guard in the suburban town of Ferguson, Mo., for a second day, and the local school district has canceled classes for the week. After two nights of violent clashes this week, neighboring Jennings School District is out of class, too.

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Amid Continued Chaos In Ferguson, A Second Autopsy Is Released

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:18 pm

A preliminary, independent autopsy report has been released in the shooting death of Michael Brown. Requested by the family, the autopsy finds that Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot six times by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo. This news follows the most violent night of protests there since the shooting.

The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

In Ferguson, Local Faith Leaders Call For 'Different Dialogue'

Ferguson residents pass out "I heart Ferg" yard signs at a local coffee shop.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:56 pm

On a quiet morning after another difficult night in Ferguson, businesses along the streets put up signs in their windows reading "I Heart Ferg." Former Mayor Brian Fletcher is passing out more.

"We're going to raise $5,000 by tomorrow at noon for yard signs," Fletcher says.

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All Tech Considered
3:33 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

On Net Neutrality, California Cares; Texas? Not So Much

NPR

When nearly 1.1 million net neutrality comments flooded the Federal Communications Commission this spring into the summer, they came from around the country. But the interest in open-Internet topics doesn't spread out evenly across the United States.

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All Tech Considered
5:05 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

It's Boom Times For Pop-Up Shops As Mobile Shopping Clicks

Customers can get a tactile experience trying on glasses at Warby Parker's shop in New York City.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:33 pm

Fast-rising mobile technology is making buying stuff with a tap of an app easier than ever, and shifting the way we shop. What were once permanent, brick-and-mortar stores, where shoppers look at items in a physical space, are now often pop-ups first — shops that last for a limited time only.

Pop-up shops are temporary retail spaces that spring up in unused premises. Leases can last as short as a single day, when brands use the spaces for a promotional event instead of testing out a market.

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All Tech Considered
6:49 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

How Yahoo's Diversity Numbers Compare With Google's

Yahoo is famously led by a woman, CEO Marissa Mayer. But its workforce, like most tech companies, is dominated by men.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:05 pm

Yahoo has responded to the years-long calls for tech companies to disclose their staffs' gender and racial breakdowns. The numbers released Tuesday show its workforce, like much of the tech industry, is dominated by white and Asian males. In its post releasing the data, Yahoo explained its reasoning:

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All Tech Considered
11:28 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Chicago Conference Is The Latest In Tech Sexism Hall Of Shame

The Chicago tech community balked at this Techweek Chicago invite, which the event has now apologized for.
Courtesy of Techweek Chicago

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:39 am

Times may be slowly a-changin' for the Y-chromosome-dominant technology sphere, where it's becoming a tougher environment to objectify women, at least publicly.

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All Tech Considered
4:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Drone Journalism Can't Fully Take Flight Until Regulators Act

Drone Journalism Lab researcher Ben Kreimer is limited to testing drones indoors.
Courtesy of Drone Journalism Lab

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 11:12 am

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All Tech Considered
6:50 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Innovation: A Gadget That Scrambles The Egg Inside The Shell

The Golden Goose will retail for around $24.
Courtesy Y Line Product Design

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:08 pm

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Submit with this form.

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All Tech Considered
1:24 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Check Out The Barefoot Wax Sculpture Of Mark Zuckerberg

The public will be able to see the life-size Mark Zuckerberg wax figure in San Francisco.
Kurt Wagner Courtesy of Mashable

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:14 pm

I don't know how I missed this (yes, yes I do) but the life-size wax figure of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was unveiled last week.

As you can see here, the wax Zuckerberg is dressed in his signature hoodie, sitting barefoot with his legs crossed and his laptop in his lap. Mashable reports:

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All Tech Considered
5:37 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

What To Do Now That The Heartbleed Bug Exposed The Internet

The Heartbleed bug has exposed up to two-thirds of the Internet to a security vulnerability.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 11:27 am

With a name like Heartbleed, it's no surprise it's bad. A vulnerability in OpenSSL — the Internet's most commonly used cryptographic library — has been bleeding out information, 64 kilobytes at a time, since March 2012.

"I would classify it as possibly the top bug that has hit the Internet that I've encountered, because of it being so widespread, because it's so hard to detect," says Andy Grant, a security analyst at iSEC Partners.

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All Tech Considered
5:17 am
Sun April 6, 2014

What Silicon Valley's Cast Thinks About Silicon Valley Culture

Cast and crew on the set of HBO's Silicon Valley (from left): Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch, Alec Berg, Mike Judge, T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani.
Jaimie Trueblood Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on

Sunday night, HBO's new comedy, Silicon Valley premieres, and as a Slate review notes of the titular place, "Rarely has a show had to do so little to find so much to mock."

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Deep In The Heart Of (A Transforming) Texas
4:16 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Cycling's Catching On In Texas, For A Very Texas Reason

Bicycles and pedicabs along a dedicated bike lane in Austin, Texas.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 9:54 pm

For years, cyclists have faced long odds in Texas, where sprawling highways teem with trucks. Dallas was ranked the worst city for bicycling in the country, several years in a row. But in recent years, the two-wheeled form of transportation has begun to gain ground.

It's no surprise that progressive Austin — where the disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong still lives — has plenty of cyclists.

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All Tech Considered
11:55 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Gender Disparities In Tech Flare Up Again: A Reading Guide

An open laptop at the GitHub office.
Dave Fayram Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 2:42 pm

We are three weeks deep into an on-air exploration of women in technology through our midday show, Tell Me More. Host Michel Martin has led some really thoughtful conversations about the dearth of women in tech and the areas of notable improvement. Online, women leaders in the field have been tweeting a day in their lives since March 1, archived here if you want to check back.

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