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 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.

Follow her on Twitter @elisewho.

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All Tech Considered
4:28 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

U.K. Cracking Down On Porn, Blocking It Unless Users Opt In

British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to block Internet porn by default on all British computers.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:02 pm

Every home in the United Kingdom will be blocked from accessing pornography through Internet connections, under new measures announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron. When these go into effect later this year, Internet users who want to access porn will have to opt in with their Internet providers.

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All Tech Considered
12:30 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

The Tech Week That Was: Phone Upgrade Plans And TV's Future

Cord-cutting was among the top tech topics this week.
Pennuja via Flickr

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 1:25 pm

So much fascinating tech and culture news, so little time. But we certainly think you should see the journalism that's catching our curiosity each week, so each Friday we'll round up the week that was — the work that appeared in this blog, and from our fellow technology writers and observers at other organizations.

ICYMI

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All Tech Considered
12:44 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Tech Companies Issue Loud Call For Surveillance Transparency

A Ukrainian activist protests the NSA Internet surveillance program.
Sergei Supinsky Getty Images

Apple, Google, Microsoft and a broad coalition of major tech companies are making a loud call for greater government disclosure of digital communications monitoring.

In a letter out today, an alliance of 63 companies and groups are calling for dramatically increased transparency around U.S. government surveillance efforts. This comes as the companies — and individual Americans — continue to grapple with recent revelations of a sweeping surveillance program led by the National Security Agency.

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All Tech Considered
2:51 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

A Bedding Innovation For People Who Hate Making Their Beds

Smart Bedding demo photo.
Courtesy of Smart Bedding

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 4:51 pm

In a blog series we're calling "Weekly Innovation," we'll explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Last week we featured the sink-urinal. (Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.)

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All Tech Considered
3:52 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Did Social Media Help Ease Tensions After Zimmerman Verdict?

Trayvon Martin supporters sit in New York City's Times Square on Sunday after marching from a rally for Martin in Manhattan.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:21 am

Calm largely prevailed after a jury acquitted George Zimmerman Saturday night in the killing of Trayvon Martin. Law enforcement and community leaders had prepared for potential unrest, and riots had been feared for months. Slate's Dave Weigel sums up the fears:

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All Tech Considered
4:50 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Anonymous Person Posts $500,000 Bond To Free Texas Teen

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

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 5:06 pm

Justin Carter, the 19-year-old who was arrested and jailed in February after making a Facebook comment about a school shooting, is out of jail. An anonymous donor posted the $500,000 bond to allow Carter to go home. Carter plans to stay near New Braunfels, Texas, to await his trial on a felony terroristic threat charge.

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All Tech Considered
12:02 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The Man Who Predicted Google Glass Forecasts The Near Future

Physicist and writer David Brin, in Xian, China.
Courtesy of David Brin

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 12:44 pm

Google Glass isn't even available to the public yet. But the wearable technology that packs a tiny computer into a lightweight frame has already faced mockery, condemnation, fear and threats of regulation. As NPR's Steve Henn reported in May:

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All Tech Considered
12:04 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

The 'Sink-Urinal' Saves Water, Encourages Men To Wash Hands

The design, called Stand, is already in use in several European countries.
Ingus Bajars Courtesy of Kaspar Jursons

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:53 pm

In a blog series we're calling "Weekly Innovation," we'll explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. (Have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.)

A Latvian designer named Kaspars Jursons is trying to help solve European water shortages by redesigning the men's restroom. His new urinal design includes a tap and sink right over it.

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All Tech Considered
3:06 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Arrest Caught On Google Glass Reignites Privacy Debate

Filmmaker Chris Barrett wearing his Google Glass. He is among the first 1,000 nondeveloper testers of the product.
Jennifer Rubinovitz Courtesy of Chris Barrett

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:36 pm

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All Tech Considered
12:36 pm
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 3:33 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
11:08 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 4:22 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
3:46 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 4:32 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
3:01 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 5:33 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
3:00 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 9:16 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
7:18 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 10:01 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
3:01 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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The Two-Way
4:24 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 7:38 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
1:48 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 10:42 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
7:38 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 2:31 pm

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

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Around the Nation
3:05 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 1:55 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
7:03 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
9:35 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
5:13 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 6:54 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
1:23 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

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

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
3:34 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 Wed May 29, 2013 8:45 am

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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