Elise Hu

Elise Hu is a reporter who covers the intersection of technology and culture for NPR's on-air, online and multimedia platforms.

She 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 who helped launch 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 is an adjunct instructor at Northwestern University and Georgetown University's journalism schools. 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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3:05am

Tue June 18, 2013
Around the Nation

Why Buy A House When You Can Buy A Mountain?

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 1:55 pm

Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, in front of Powzilla, an open-top Suburban turned rock crawler.
Elise Hu NPR

It's not your everyday real estate deal. A team of young entrepreneurs persuaded about 50 deep-pocketed investors to help them purchase a mountain. The deal just closed in April, and development on Utah's nearly 10,000-acre Powder Mountain is now underway.

"When we made those first phone calls, everybody's like, what? That being said, they know that we aren't kidding," says Jeff Rosenthal, co-founder of Summit, the group that led the purchase of the peak.

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7:03am

Sat June 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Illinois Pension Crisis: This Is What Rock Bottom Looks Like

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn called members of the Legislature back to work for a special session to help resolve the pension crisis.
Seth Perlman AP

Lawmakers in Illinois are headed back to work next week to address the state's $100 billion pension crisis, the worst unfunded pension liability in the nation. While almost all states faced pension funding issues during the recession, none of them are looking at a predicament as severe as in Illinois. Every day it doesn't get fixed, the burden on taxpayers grows larger.

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9:35am

Wed June 12, 2013
It's All Politics

Rick Perry's War On The Blue States

Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with Illinois media during his April trip to lure businesses.
M. Spencer Green AP

Gov. Rick Perry's outsized Texas swagger is coming to the heart of blue state America.

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5:35pm

Mon June 10, 2013
All Tech Considered

What You Need To Know About Changes Coming From Apple

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 6:54 pm

Apple unveiled its new mobile operating system, iOS 7.
Apple

If you opt for the upgrade, changes are coming to your iPhone experience this fall. And if you want to shell out some cash right away, the latest line of MacBook Air computers boasts a lot more power and battery life, and the machines are available to ship today.

Apple chiefs announced their latest products and improvements Monday as part of the keynote at the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

We kept an eye on the two-hour presentation so you didn't have to. The highlights:

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1:23pm

Thu June 6, 2013
All Tech Considered

A Day In The Life Of The Relentlessly Tracked

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:45 pm

Today, every consumer click is an opportunity for companies to gather personal information.
David Goldman AP

Controversy is raging over a court order allowing the FBI and the National Security Agency to seize aggregate information of millions of Verizon customer phone calls.

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3:34pm

Tue May 28, 2013
Pop Culture

What Happens To Spelling Bee Kids? Years Later, The Prize Is Perspective

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 2:25 pm

Srinivas Ayyagari onstage in 1992 (left); at right, Ayyagari today. "Seeing someone from ESPN commenting on your style and strategy was bizarre and weird. But it's the closest I'll ever come to being an athlete," Ayyagari says.
Srinivas Ayyagari

For an academic contest pitting young spellers against the dictionary, the Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken on the intensity of the fiercest athletic events. Feeling the warmth of television lights — not to mention nerves and distractions — all while sports commentators are analyzing your "style" and approach is something only a select club of young word-nerdy Americans gets to experience. How does that early experience affect these mostly middle-school-aged kids later in life?

Lasting Memories

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4:29pm

Mon May 20, 2013
All Tech Considered

Yahoo's Other Billion Dollar Bets: Where Are They Now?

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 5:57 pm

GeoCities employees pose for a picture in 1999 after the Yahoo acquisition was announced. Yahoo quietly shut down GeoCities a decade later.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Yahoo's $1.1 billion purchase of Tumblr could be considered a bargain compared with its other big-dollar bets. The company's history is dotted with pricey purchases of once-hot Web properties that had more promise than eventual purpose. A look back:

GeoCities, 1999: $3.7 Billion

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4:18pm

Thu April 11, 2013
All Tech Considered

A Mile-High Hack: An App That Could Remotely Hijack Planes

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 11:28 am

A German IT consultant's proof-of-concept software raises questions about efforts to secure global flight systems.
iStockphoto.com

The Federal Aviation Administration continues work on its multibillion-dollar upgrade to the nation's air traffic control system, but it may not be enough to stop hackers from taking control of airplanes with a smartphone.

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8:46am

Tue April 9, 2013
Code Switch

Mom Says: "Learn Chinese"

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 12:50 pm

Hu, with her mom, Jeannie.
Channing Johnson Elise Hu

My earliest memory of code switching is at Pizza Hut, back when Pizza Huts were sit-down restaurants with salad bars and garlic bread. (Like any daughter of immigrants, most of my memories involve food.) My mom and dad would speak with the waiters in English, ordering our pan-crust pizzas and Pepsi products, but we used Mandarin at the table. Our Mandarin was our secret code.

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2:58pm

Sun March 24, 2013
The Two-Way

100 Hours On The Supreme Court's Sidewalk: Camping Out For A Seat To History

More than two dozen people bundled up to camp out before the U.S. Supreme Court for a seat to watch oral arguments in a same-sex marriage case on Tuesday.
Elise Hu NPR

Overnight temperatures are dipping below freezing and the forecast calls for snow, but cold, boredom and discomfort haven't stopped more than 30 Supreme Court die-hards from camping out for a seat to history.

"I just really wanted to be part of this moment, so I had been planning to come down for months," said Darienn Powers, a college student who came to Washington from New York. "No matter what, it's worth it to be in there and really experience what's going on."

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