Ailsa Chang is an award-winning journalist who covers criminal justice, terrorism and the courts for WNYC. She found her way into public radio after practicing law for five years, and can definitely say that walking the streets of New York City with a microphone is a lot more fun than being holed up in the office writing letters to opposing counsel.
Since joining WNYC in 2009, Chang has earned national recognition for her investigative reporting. In 2012, she was honored with the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, one of the highest awards in broadcast journalism, for her two-part investigative series on allegations of illegal searches and unlawful marijuana arrests by the New York City Police Department. The reports also earned an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Chang has investigated how Detroit's broken public defender system leaves the poor with lawyers who are often too underpaid and overworked to provide adequate defense. For that story, Chang won the 2010 Daniel Schorr Journalism Award, a National Headliner Award and an honor from Investigative Reporters and Editors.
In 2011, the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association named Chang as the winner of the Art Athens Award for General Excellence in Individual Reporting for radio. She has also appeared as a guest on PBS NewsHour and other television programs for her legal reporting.
Chang received her bachelor's degree in public policy from Stanford University, her law degree from Stanford Law School, a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University and a Masters degree in media law from Oxford University where she was a U.S. Fulbright Scholar.
She was also a law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Before her arrival at WNYC, Chang was a Kroc Fellow for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C. and a reporter for KQED public radio in San Francisco. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ailsa Chang appears in the following:
Friday, November 22, 2013
Democrats won Thursday when they rammed through a change in Senate rules to essentially kill the filibuster on most presidential nominations. At the time, Republicans said Democrats would be sorry, and soon.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Senate Democrats, furious about Republicans blocking President Obama's judicial and executive branch nominations, took a dramatic and historic step Thursday. They voted to detonate the so-called nuclear option, which will curb filibusters on most nominations, allowing them to be approved by majority vote.
Monday, November 11, 2013
Lobbyists are known for their influence, but perhaps less obvious is that lobbyists often write legislation — sometimes word for word. In a recent example, media reports showed how bank lobbyists had a hand in drafting a House bill aimed at rolling back financial regulations.
Wednesday, November 06, 2013
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was back on the Hill Wednesday, this time to be grilled by the Senate Finance Committee about problems with the Affordable Care Act.
Friday, November 01, 2013
Senate Republicans have once again blocked President Obama's nominees. Despite a deal in July to let several of the president's picks go through, the rancor has returned with a fresh batch of appointments. Two nominations failed within less than an hour on Thursday, and Democrats may once again threaten to change Senate rules so Republicans can't easily derail another nomination.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified on the Affordable Care Act before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She began with an apology for the plan's troubled rollout — but then defended the law and rejected calls to extend the enrollment deadline.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
As Republicans slam the messy rollout of HealthCare.gov, Democrats in conservative states could score political points by supporting an extension of the open enrollment period.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Problems continue to plague the online healthcare exchanges set up under Obamacare, from slow access to corrupt data being sent to insurance companies. NPR congressional reporter Ailsa Chang talks about the Congressional hearings on the troubles, and what comes next.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
House lawmakers got their first chance to grill government contractors Thursday about the botched rollout of the health insurance website under the Affordable Care Act. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle wanted to know what went wrong and why. For the most part, the contractors pointed fingers back at the federal government.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
The first of what is likely to be many congressional hearings on the Affordable Care Act rollout happens Thursday. After more than three weeks, consumers trying out the new health care exchanges have complained of delays, inaccurate information and other computer problems. House Republicans are determined to shine a spotlight on the bungles.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Two weeks after shutting down the federal government and hours before the Treasury was at risk of defaulting on the nation's obligations, House Republicans relented and voted on a bill ending the twin fiscal crises. It was a vote Democrats had demanded for weeks. And it was almost a complete concession to President Obama who had insisted on both conditions before discussing anything with congressional Republicans.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
President Obama, scheduled to address the nation from the White House on Tuesday evening, trekked to the Capitol in the afternoon to address the Democratic and Republican Senate luncheons.
Friday, September 06, 2013
The Senate held a brief session Friday to start the process of voting on the Syria resolution next week.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
The Senate returns from its month-long recess a few days early on Friday, but only briefly, for the sole purpose of bringing to the floor the Syria resolution. But a Senate vote on the proposal is still a week away, with the House not likely to act until the Senate has finished.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee spent Wednesday scrambling to find language authorizing military strikes on Syria that was acceptable to both those wanting a stronger response and those hoping to limit U.S. involvement.
Wednesday, September 04, 2013
Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and John McCain of Arizona approach the question of military strikes on Syria from opposite wings of the Republican Party. Paul from the isolationist wing and McCain from the traditional, more hawkish wing. Their disagreement played out in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, and serves as a preview for the far more consequential version of this debate among House Republicans.
Monday, September 02, 2013
A day after President Obama announced he'll wait for congressional authorization before launching strikes on Syria; members of Congress attended a classified briefing at the Capitol. Even though there's still one week left of summer recess, dozens of lawmakers flew to Washington, D.C. from their home districts just for the meeting.
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
The Obama administration appears poised to attack Syria after concluding Bashar Assad's government used chemical weapons, but many members of Congress say they haven't been briefed enough about why military action is warranted. And their opinions about what to do in Syria are all over the map.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, North Carolina has a new law to require photo ID at the polls and to shorten early voting. Proponents say the law will stave off voter fraud. Opponents say it will effectively quash the vote of many poor minorities.
Thursday, August 01, 2013
With an easy House vote, Congress gave final passage to a student loan bill that rescinds the doubling of interest rates that took place July 1. The ultimate product resembles both a House bill that passed months ago and President Obama's proposal this spring and pegs interest rates to a government borrowing rate.