Elise Hu, BJ '03

Elise Hu

Digital Editorial Coordinator

at NPR

BJ '03
Washington, United States, D.C.

What do you do?
I’m a state political reporter and multimedia producer who works across platforms in print, television and online media. I helped strategize and launch The Texas Tribune, a non-profit online news organization devoted to government and politics, in the fall of 2009. I then joined NPR in D.C. as the Digital Editorial Coordinator of the new “Impact of Government” project. While at the Tribune, I oversaw the Tribune’s television partnerships, social media channels and multimedia journalism; contributed to The New York Times’ expanded Texas coverage and played a lead role in editorial innovation.

How did you get your job?
I was recruited to join the Tribune before it launched by Evan Smith and Ross Ramsey, who masterminded the startup. They got to know my work as the state political reporter for Austin’s ABC affiliate, KVUE-TV, from 2006 to 2009. While there, I earned some recognition as a strong beat reporter and for my blogging and interest in digital platforms. Those were traits that the founders were interested in in starting a new news organization.

What is the best professional lesson you learned at the J-School?
The fundamentals. Through all the changes we’ve seen in technology and delivery of news, reporters must be strong journalists first: good diggers and great writers.

What advice do you have for current students?
The traditional tracks and hierarchies in professional media don’t exist anymore. That means it’s more important than ever to chart your own career course based on your interests and talents. Learn skills that aren’t native to you, whether it’s photography or programming or data journalism. But never forget the fundamentals.

What is your favorite J-School memory?
Cramming for tests at Country Kitchen in the middle of the night with my friends from different journalism sequences. The excitement over the then-brand-new Chipotle across the street, which quickly grew tiresome. Sandy Davidson.

Any parting comments?
Feel free to reach out to me.

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