Ep. 16 – Elise Hu on Journalism, Gender Equality, and Pyeongchang 2018

Elise Hu is the Seoul Bureau Chief and Asia correspondent for NPR, an American broadcast and digital network that reaches 1,000 affiliate stations across the United States. Her coverage area includes both Koreas, Japan and she pitches in on stories across the Asian region. Previously, she covered the intersection of technology and culture for the network, from Washington, D.C. She joined NPR in 2011 following television reporting jobs in Texas, South Carolina, and Missouri.

An honors graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism, Elise’s work has earned a Gannett Foundation Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism, a National Edward R. Murrow award for best online video and The Austin Chronicle once dubiously named her the “Best TV Reporter Who Can Write.” Outside of work, she’s an adviser to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a panelist on the Korean network Airing’s talk show, Foreign Correspondents, sits on the board of Grist magazine and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

You can connect with Elise on Twitter, @elisewho, on her website https://about.me/elisehu, on Facebook, and follow her blog at www.heyelise.com

Show Notes

01:41 on becoming an international correspondent and bureau chief in Seoul
04:32 the direction of NPR
06:59 on job saliency and access / difficulties in reporting in Korea
10:15 on English-language journalism in a non-English speaking country and NASCAR
14:01 cryptocurrency in Korea
17:10 reporting on things not North Korea
20:29 Park Geun Hye scandal
25:02 빨리빨리 culture
27:37 unpopular opinions about Korea / backing in to parking spaces
30:30 on gender equality in Korea
35:30 short- to medium-term changes to address gender inequality
37:48 on raising kids in Korea
41:15 favorite story reported on
44:22 what to buy before and during the Pyeongchang
45:30 on covering the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018
49:55 what story do you wish you wrote
51:32 what would you rename Korea / which subreddit would you moderate
52:28 name of Elise’s autobiography / on fighting ducks and horses
53:31 family band
55:47 your favorite failure
57:42 new belief, behavior, or habit that has had biggest impact
59:54 advice for aspiring journalists and young professionals
01:02:25 book recommendations

People, Places, Things Mentioned in the Show

All Tech Considered

As A Japanese Mountain Village Shrinks, So Do Its Prospects For Kabuki


China-North Korea border

Chloe Kim


Dale Earnhardt

Didion, Joan: Political Fictions

Divided States of Women


Ewha Women’s University (이대)

Feminism in South Korea

Fresh Air with Terry Gross

Gangneung (강릉시)


Gender wage gap in Korea

Hobonichi Techo


Kim Jong-hyun (김종현)

KUOW 94.9 Seattle

Labor Productivity in South Korea

Matt Stiles

Miracle on the Han (한강의 기적)


North Korean Ice Skating Duo (Ryom Tae Ok, Kim Ju Sik)


Park Geun-hye scandal


Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 (평창 동계 올림픽)

Sewol Sinking (세월호 침몰 사고)

Shteyngart, Gary: Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel

Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence

Tudor, Daniel: Korea: The Impossible Country

Working hours in South Korea (TL;DR: Too many)