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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All Tech Considered
11:36 am
Mon July 8, 2013

When Social Sharing Goes Wrong: Regretting The Facebook Post

A model poses for photos next to a life-size makeshift Facebook browser in the Philippines.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 2:33 pm

We've been following the case of Justin Carter, the Texas teen who's been jailed near San Antonio since February. It started when he posted a Facebook message saying he would go "shoot up a kindergarten." Austin Police arrested him and seized his computer and a grand jury indicted him in April on a charge of making a terroristic threat.

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It's All Politics
10:08 am
Fri July 5, 2013

A Lively Political Press In A State Where Everything's Bigger

Texas reporters surround state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, on Monday.
Todd Wiseman Courtesy of Todd Wiseman

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 3:22 pm

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country. We take a closer look at the local journalists covering the coming changes, in this part of the series.

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All Tech Considered
2:46 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Father: Teen Jailed For Facebook Comment Beaten Up Behind Bars

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

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:32 pm

The family of Justin Carter, the 19-year-old Texas gamer who made offensive Facebook comments that landed him in jail, is working with new urgency to get his $500,000 bail reduced because they say he's getting beat up behind bars.

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Texas Teen Jailed For Sarcastic Facebook Comment

Justin Carter at home before his arrest. The 19-year-old has been in the Comal County, Texas, jail since March.
Courtesy of Jack Carter

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:33 pm

A Texas teen faces up to eight years in prison after making a comment on Facebook about shooting up "a school full of kids." Deputies in Comal County, Texas, charged then-18-year-old Justin Carter with making "terroristic threats" — a third-degree felony — in March. According to the Comal County Jail, he's been behind bars since March 27, unable to make his $500,000 bail. Austin-based KVUE-TV reports:

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It's All Politics
2:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

In Houston, America's Diverse Future Has Already Arrived

Glenda Joe, a seventh-generation Chinese-Houstonian.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 8:16 am

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

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All Tech Considered
6:18 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Q&A: On The Death Of Google Reader And The Future Of Reading

Google is shutting down the Google Reader on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 9:01 pm

You can't say they didn't warn you. On Monday, Google Reader will no longer be available. The search behemoth is putting its RSS reader to rest, leaving millions of dedicated users scrambling to find other platforms for organization of their news feeds and content exploration.

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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

What You Suggested For Our Tech Blog Reboot

An old innovation: the printing press.
Flickr: Mattack

In case you missed it Monday, we're rebooting our technology blog to focus on the intersection of innovation and culture. The updated approach both widens our view of technology — for example, two-ply toilet paper was innovative at one point — and sharpens our gaze. You won't find general tech business news in this space anymore.

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It's All Politics
5:19 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

The Wendy Davis Rocket Ride

State Sen. Wendy Davis talks with fellow senators before her 11-hour filibuster attempt on Tuesday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:49 pm

Overnight, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis became a national political name and a hero to abortion-rights supporters around the country.

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The Two-Way
3:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Clock Runs Out On Controversial Texas Abortion Bill

The Texas Capitol rotunda filled with supporters of state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who filibustered a controversial abortion bill.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:38 am

The official clock ran out on Texas lawmakers overnight, which effectively killed a bill that would have dramatically restricted abortion in the nation's second most populous state. Hours of chaos and confusion in Austin finally lifted as Texas Senate leaders decided that the vote on Senate Bill 5 did not clear a constitutionally-mandated hurdle that it pass before midnight.

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The Two-Way
12:21 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Texas Lawmaker's 11-Hour Filibuster Ended On A Technicality

State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat, dons pink tennis shoes during a Tuesday filibuster.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 9:42 am

By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)

"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.

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All Tech Considered
6:38 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Will Video Ruin Instagram's Appeal?

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, has announced a new video feature.
Ramsey Mohsen via Flickr/Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:31 pm

UPDATE on Thursday at 1:44 p.m. ET: Instagram For Video Arrives

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Around the Nation
2:05 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Why Buy A House When You Can Buy A Mountain?

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

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 12:55 pm

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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It's All Politics
6:03 am
Sat June 15, 2013

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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It's All Politics
8:35 am
Wed June 12, 2013

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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All Tech Considered
5:18 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

What You Need To Know About Changes Coming From Apple

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

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 5:54 pm

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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All Tech Considered
12:45 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

A Day In The Life Of The Relentlessly Tracked

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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Pop Culture
2:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 1:25 pm

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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All Tech Considered
4:23 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 4:57 pm

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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All Tech Considered
3:18 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 10:28 am

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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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Sun March 24, 2013

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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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Scientists: 'No Options' To Stop Massive Asteroids On Collision Course

Actor Bruce Willis on the surface of an asteroid from the movie Armageddon. Lawmakers are questioning the likelihood of the movie's plot becoming reality.
Frank Masi ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 3:40 pm

Without "a few years" warning, humans currently have no capacity to stop an asteroid on a collision course with the planet, scientists told a Senate panel Wednesday.

"Right now we have no options," said former astronaut Ed Lu. "If you dont know where they are, there's nothing you can do."

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All Tech Considered
3:29 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Self-Tracking Apps To Help You 'Quantify' Yourself

Noah Zandan shows off his Zeo sleep-tracking headband. His other self-tracking devices are on his wrists. Noah and his father, Peter, are both part of the growing "Quantified Self" movement.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 10:11 am

Technology has made it easier than ever to track your activity levels, your sleep cycles, how you spend your time, and more. The self-trackers who near-obsessively capture and analyze their own data are part of a growing "Quantified Self" movement.

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All Tech Considered
6:20 am
Mon March 11, 2013

The Most Talked About Tech And Culture Trends At SXSW Interactive

The feline known as Grumpy Cat.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 7:40 pm

Everywhere you walk in downtown Austin, Texas, new names compete for the attention of the tens of thousands wandering the SXSW Interactive festival. Which of this year's emerging ideas and brands — MakerBot, Leap Motion, Geomagic — will break into mainstream consciousness? Here's a quick rundown of the conversation topics in coffee lines, and some notes on appearances and panels that caught our attention:

Beyond The Keyboard And Mouse

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All Tech Considered
12:05 pm
Mon February 25, 2013

Working From Home: The End Of Productivity Or The Future Of Work?

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on Feb. 20, 2013. Under Mayer, Yahoo is ending its remote work policy for employees.
Peter Kramer ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 12:13 pm

In its bid to reshape itself for the future, Yahoo is returning to a workplace culture of the tech industry's past. The Internet giant has reportedly notified its employees they'll no longer be allowed to work from home.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
12:56 pm
Sat February 23, 2013

The Four Biggest Best Picture Oscar Upsets, Statistically Speaking

The cast of Crash celebrates after its surprise upset of Brokeback Mountain for best picture, at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Sat February 23, 2013 1:28 pm

By the time the curtains rise on the Academy Awards ceremony each year, Oscar-watching prognosticators are already reasonably sure which films are going to take home top prizes.

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