NPR to open Seoul bureau
National Public Radio Wednesday revealed plans to open a bureau in Seoul, South Korea, naming culture and technology reporter Elise Hu its Asia correspondent there.
In addition to being at the heart of a technological and economic force, the bureau is strategically placed near multiple countries of interest to NPR, including Japan and China, Hu said. From there, she'll be able to coordinate with NPR bureaus in other cities, including New Delhi, Islamabad and Beijing.
The opportunity to report overseas is a huge privilege, she said. Her family — including her husband, Wall Street Journal data journalist Matt Stiles — will make the move with her.
"I obviously had to talk it over with my family," Hu said. "This is indeed a cross-planet move, but my husband is on board. He's an incredibly talented journalist in his own right, so I'm confident that something will work out for him."
The bureau, which will open in 2015, will consist of Hu and a translator-assistant, who she'll hire.
Hu came to NPR in 2011 to help develop StateImpact network, a government reporting project, according to the announcement. Before that, she was a founding reporter at The Texas Tribune, a journalism non-profit based in Austin, Texas.
Hu wrote about the move on her blog:
I don’t know what to do with our house yet. I am panicked about getting to see the final episodes of Mad Men without too much time delay. I worry about my 16-year-old dog surviving a cross-planet move. I am unsure of my own abilities to cover a place where I am illiterate.
But I’m also filled with excitement and wonder and gratitude for the chance to do this. I know how rare a privilege it is these days to get a chance to work overseas, supported by a large, well-funded news organization. As my friend and mentor Kinsey said, it’s invaluable experience that will change and shape our lives.
She also tweeted about it:
— Elise Hu (@elisewho) October 29, 2014