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.



Fri January 23, 2015
The Two-Way

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

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

A signature SkyMall item: The hot dog bun toaster.

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

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Thu January 15, 2015
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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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Thu January 8, 2015
All Tech Considered

The Unstoppable Selfie Stick Trend Has Invaded American Shores

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 12:43 pm

A couple uses a selfie stick on a Mexican beach.
Elise Hu NPR

Selfie sticks first proliferated in Asia, where so many tech trends seem to originate, for better or worse. Tourists wielding giant poles with their cellphones attached at the end stood before the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, smiling for their faraway phone cameras. Or they whipped these rods out in Myeongdong, a shopping promenade in Seoul.

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Mon December 29, 2014
All Tech Considered

The 2014 Tech Trends We'll Still Be Talking About Next Year

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 6:35 pm

A video about the Apple Watch is shown during an Apple special event in Cupertino, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

And just like that, 2014 is coming to a close. We live in fast-moving, hyper-connected times in which it seems technology is driving numerous cultural changes. NPR tech reporters Laura Sydell, Aarti Shahani and I looked back on a few ideas and topics that intrigued us this year but will continue to get attention in the year ahead.

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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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Wed December 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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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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/.


Sat December 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Instagram Vs. Twitter And Europe Vs. Google

Instagram topped Twitter in active users in its latest count.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

If you've been too busy finalizing holiday vacation plans and buying gifts, we're here to catch you up on the tech headlines you may have missed from NPR and beyond.

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Sat December 6, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Online Threats, N. Korean Threats And RIP Clip Art

Sony Pictures is still investigating who hacked its systems and leaked sensitive information, including unreleased films.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

The week in tech began with arguments before the Supreme Court and ended with another data breach. This time it's the clothing chain Bebe. Here's a look back at other tech stories you should know about from NPR and beyond.

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Thu December 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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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Mon December 1, 2014
All Tech Considered

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

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

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

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

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Thu November 27, 2014
The Two-Way

A Nationwide Outpouring Of Support For Tiny Ferguson Library

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

The Ferguson Public Library.
Elise Hu NPR

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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Tue November 25, 2014
The Two-Way

The Psychological Effects Of Seeing Police Everywhere In Ferguson

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

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

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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Tue November 25, 2014
The Two-Way

Crowds Confront Police, Businesses Burn In Ferguson Chaos

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

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

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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Mon November 24, 2014
All Tech Considered

Silicon Valley's Power Over The Free Press: Why It Matters

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 5:26 pm

Facebook may not create stories, but it's the largest distributor of news stories for many news organizations.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

A big shift happened in news and information over the past few years: The people who write news and information no longer control the distribution of it. Technology companies do.

Specifically it's Facebook and Twitter — the large social platforms created in Silicon Valley.

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Sat November 15, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week That Was: Obama Rocks The Net Neutrality Debate

Oh, what a tangled web. President Obama weighs in on regulating the Internet.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Each week, we take a look back at headlines in the technology and society space, but Monday's net neutrality move by President Obama was the biggest headline by a mile. So we've tweaked the typical roundup to focus on net neutrality, with some additional headlines at the end.

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Wed November 12, 2014
All Tech Considered

The Data You're OK Sharing And What You Don't Want Others To See

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 11:28 am


How do Americans feel about privacy? It depends on what you consider "sensitive" information. A Pew Research Center survey finds that a vast majority of respondents are concerned about government surveillance and the commercial use of personal data, but they are OK with sharing some personal information — just not certain types.

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Mon November 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

HealthCare.gov's Tech Improvements Mean You Can Now Window Shop

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 8:59 am

Consumers can window shop on HealthCare.gov leading up to open enrollment, which starts Saturday.

HealthCare.gov barely worked when it launched last fall, with only six people able to enroll in a plan on opening day.

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Mon November 10, 2014
All Tech Considered

The White House Is Backing Strong Open Internet Rules

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 3:34 pm

The White House is backing the Internet.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

On the same morning net neutrality demonstrators showed up at FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's house to protest a plan that could let broadband providers charge for "fast lanes" to the Internet, the demonstrators found unexpected support from the White House.

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Sat November 8, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: The New U.S. CTO, Silk Road 2.0, Amazon Echoes Siri

Megan Smith (left) is the new U.S. chief technology officer. We profiled her on Morning Edition this week.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Happy weekend, folks. Here's our weekly roundup of the headlines in tech, from NPR and beyond.


Ms. Smith Goes To Washington: In our profile of the new U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith, she talks about unconscious bias, how she fell in love with science and how being in tech over the past few decades as changed her.

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Tue November 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

Domino's Becomes A Tech Company That Happens To Make Pizza

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 7:20 pm

A stats board displayed at the Domino's flagship store in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Emily Fox Michigan Public Radio

If we asked you to name a few technology companies, Google or Microsoft might come to mind. But one tech company that isn't so obvious is Michigan-based but globally present Domino's Pizza.

In recent years, the company has gotten noticeably good at something that wasn't always its focus — developing technology products to get pizzas to people more easily.

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Tue November 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

From Silicon Valley To White House, New U.S. Tech Chief Makes Change

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 1:13 pm

Megan Smith is the new U.S. chief technology officer.
Ariel Zambelich NPR


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/.



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Sat October 25, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Voice Mail Hang-Ups, Apple Pay And Zuckerberg's Chinese

Apple Pay is promoted on signs placed at the cash register of a Whole Foods supermarket in New York.
Bryan Thomas Getty Images

It's the weekend, which means it's time to look back on the week in technology that was. As your handy NPR One listening app says, here we go...

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Thu October 23, 2014
All Tech Considered

Mark Zuckerberg Shows Off His Mandarin Chinese Skills

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 2:18 pm

In a photo released by Tsinghua University in Beijing, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg speaks with students there on Wednesday.


Wed October 22, 2014
All Tech Considered

Pew: Gaming Is Least Welcoming Online Space For Women

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 11:16 am

A new Pew study finds that of all online environments, only online gaming is viewed as "starkly" more welcoming for men.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

As the ongoing, harassment-fueled controversy known as Gamergate rages into its second month with no sign of dying down, the Pew Research Center is out with new numbers on online harassment.

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Sat October 18, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Egg Freezing, Gamergate And Online Giving

Apple and Facebook's decisions to pay for female employees to freeze their eggs sparked a lively debate on the message it sends to women.

How will technology and gaming need to change to be welcoming for women? We've been exploring the issue for years. This week, the debate rages anew with a development out of Silicon Valley, and a new chapter in the still raging Gamergate controversy.

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Tue October 14, 2014
All Tech Considered

Snapchat And Dropbox Breaches Are Really Third-Party-App Breaches

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 5:33 pm

Snapchat's logo.
Carl Raether Flickr

What can get lost in a flurry of news about Dropbox and Snapchat getting hacked is that the companies themselves deny they were hacked at all.

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Mon October 13, 2014
All Tech Considered

How Millennials Are Reshaping Charity And Online Giving

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 11:28 am

The Manhattan-based headquarters of Charity: Water.
Elise Hu NPR

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

Millennials are spending — and giving away their cash — a lot differently than previous generations, and that's changing the game for giving, and for the charities that depend on it.

Scott Harrison's group, Charity: Water, is a prime example. Harrison's story starts in New York's hottest nightclubs, promoting the proverbial "models and bottles."

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Sat October 4, 2014
All Tech Considered

Tech Week: Who's Offline, How Hong Kong Connects, How Google Works

Protesters rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on Sept. 29. They're using old and new forms of tech to stay connected.
Xaume Olleros AFP/Getty Images

Another week whizzed by with no shortage of tech news and headlines. Here's a look back and what we were up to here at NPR and some notable coverage from our friends in the media and blogosphere.

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