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.

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Parallels
5:17 am
Wed August 5, 2015

Need Fake Friends For Your Wedding? In S. Korea, You Can Hire Them

A stage production or a Korean wedding? It can be hard to tell.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed August 5, 2015 9:57 am

Weddings and baby showers are real-life milestones to spend with your actual loved ones. True, but in South Korea, a cottage industry exists to help real people find fake friends to fill seats at such life rituals.

At a recent wedding in June, Kim Seyeon showed up as a guest even though she is a total stranger to the bride and groom. She makes about $20 per wedding she attends as a pretend friend.

"When it's the peak wedding season in Korea, sometimes I do two or three acts a day, every weekend," Kim says.

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The Salt
7:57 am
Sun July 5, 2015

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

Dan Gray is a restaurateur and food blogger in Seoul, South Korea.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 12:05 pm

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, top chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We go to Seoul, South Korea, to make banchan — those endless small plates of pickles and veggies that traditionally accompany rice or soup.

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Parallels
5:04 am
Fri June 26, 2015

A Showdown Looms At South Korea's Gay Pride Parade

A religious activist is carried away by police after he tried to stop a gay pride parade in Seoul last year. Christian activists are planning to disrupt the parade again this year.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:40 am

In Seoul, a gay pride parade 15 years in the running is at the center of heated controversy between LGBT groups and Christian activists, who threaten to do what it takes to stop the marchers.

The growing visibility of South Korea's gays and lesbians has led to louder opposition from church groups in recent years, and this weekend's event has organizers preparing for confrontation.

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Parallels
2:41 pm
Tue June 23, 2015

Best Frenemies: Japan, Korea Mark 50th Anniversary Despite Rivalry

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se (left) speaks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at their meeting in Tokyo. The two countries are marking the 50th anniversary of establishing relations. While leaders in both countries stressed the importance of the ties, a bitter history continues to strain the relationship.
Issei Kato AP

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 8:59 am

This week, Japan and South Korea are marking the 50th anniversary of an important treaty — the one that normalized diplomatic relations between the two countries. The two nations signed the landmark 1965 treaty after years of war and the Japanese colonization of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

But to celebrate, both countries are having to hide ongoing bitterness.

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Parallels
5:35 am
Sun June 14, 2015

MERS Is A Health Crisis With Political And Economic Costs

A medical staff member wearing a protective suit waits to enter an isolation ward for patients with Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, in South Korea.
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 16, 2015 2:05 pm

In South Korea, schools are starting to reopen and hundreds are coming out of quarantine as the Asian MERS outbreak appears to slow down. Middle East respiratory syndrome has infected 150 and killed 16 people in South Korea since mid-May. And as it has become clear in the past week, this health crisis is coming with political and economic costs.

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