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.

Elise Hu can be reached by e-mail at ehu (at) npr (dot) org as well as via the social media links, above.

Update, Oct. 8, 2013: The Minds Behind 'NSA' Billboard Reveal Themselves

Drivers heading north into San Francisco on the storied 101 Freeway will find a white billboard with a message in plain black text: "Your Data Should Belong To The NSA."

Phantom vibration — that phenomenon where you think your phone is vibrating but it's not — has been around only since the mobile age. And five years ago, when its wider existence became recognized, news organizations, including ours, covered the "syndrome" as a sign of the digital encroachment in our lives. Today, it's so common that researchers have devoted studies to it.

Scanning the Internet today, I found a pair of pieces by writer and columnist Clive Thompson — one, for The Globe and Mail, another, for Wired magazine, that focus on how our brains get a boost when we're using social media and blogging.

"The fact that so many of us are writing has changed the way we think," he writes in Wired. "Just as we now live in public, so do we think in public."

While most of us were distracted waiting for a gold iPhone — gold! — the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers quietly made a deal to acquire an electronics company for $7.2 billion. The company they bought? Molex.

In the flood of stories about Steve Ballmer's time at the helm of Microsoft, a troubling symbol of the company's office culture keeps emerging. It's called "stack ranking," a system that had corrosive effects on Microsoft employees by encouraging workers to play office politics at the expense of focusing on creative, substantive work.

In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.

Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.

Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.

This week's innovation pick is a shower head that reminds you you're taking too long. The Uji shower head gradually turns from green to red as users linger in the shower.

"It encourages [people] to take shorter and more energy efficient showers," said one of the co-inventors, Brett Andler. "By letting people become aware of how long they're in the shower, we've actually been able to cut shower time by 12 percent."

Facebook's mission "to make the world more open and connected" is a familiar refrain among company leaders. But the latest research shows connecting 1.1 billion users around the world may come at a psychological cost.

A new University of Michigan study on college-aged adults finds that the more they used Facebook, the worse they felt. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, found Facebook use led to declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction.

The news spread with the speed of the Internet: The Washington Post, a newspaper that helped bring down a president, would be sold to Jeff Bezos, the tech titan who started Amazon.

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:

The Fourth of July holiday brought about another first for Google Glass, the computing device that you can wear on your face.

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.

The U.S. Postal Service is getting creative in its search for new revenue after last year's $15.9 billion budget shortfall. The agency says it will debut a new clothing and accessories line called Rain Heat & Snow, inspired by its unofficial motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

If you want a little background and perspective to what the presidential candidates are saying — as they're saying it — then our "Pop-Up Politics" videos are for you. As VH1 did with music videos, we've added pop-up bubbles and animation to stump speeches to give context to the candidates' statements on the war in Afghanistan, energy and the economy.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave his first public interview after his tech company's rocky IPO and the disappointing stock performance that followed. Facebook's share price is now worth about $19 — half as much as it was priced back in May when its stock first went on the market.

Zuckerberg took questions from Michael Arrington at TechCrunch Disrupt, a San Francisco conference for startups. We watched and listened in to the talk in case you missed it:

Building a mission and business go hand-in-hand

Somewhere between school and her extracurricular activities, eighth-grader Julia Bluhm found time to launch a crusade against airbrushed images in one of the country's top teen magazines.

And this week, she won: Seventeen magazine pledged not to digitally alter body sizes or face shapes of young women featured in its editorial pages, largely in response to the online petition Julia started this spring.

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