Ailsa Chang

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:

Sanders Needed New Hampshire Victory To Prove His Campaign's Viability

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders beat rival Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary by a huge margin. The race was called just minutes after all the polls had closed.


Presidential Candidates Await Results In New Hampshire Primary

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

In just minutes, final polls close in New Hampshire, and the candidates await results in the state's presidential primary contests.


Final Votes Cast As Most Polls Begin To Close In New Hampshire

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Polls are closing at this hour across much of New Hampshire after a day when state officials projected record voter turnout. Candidates are staked out around the state awaiting results.


Bernie Sanders Appears Poised To Defeat Hillary Clinton In New Hampshire

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Going into the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared poised to defeat rival Hillary Clinton in the state. NPR explores how meaningful such an outcome would be for each campaign going forward.


Sanders Resonates With N.H. Voters. Is It Because He's From Vermont?

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

As voters head to the polls in New Hampshire, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is the favorite and Hillary Clinton is the underdog. It's a far different standing than they had just months ago.


Congress Moves To Tackle Heroin, Prescription Drug Epidemic

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What is being done to fight heroin and prescription drug abuse in hard-hit states like New Hampshire? What can Congress do to help? Lawmakers tackle the issue.


Congressional Republicans Fear Being Overshadowed By Election Politics

Friday, January 15, 2016

House and Senate Republicans huddled at a retreat in Baltimore this week to figure out their agenda for the year. But that task is complicated by the presidential election and the Donald Trump factor.


In Speech On Capitol Hill, Obama Requests Few Specifics Of Lawmakers

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The State of the Union is usually a laundry list of things the president hopes Congress will get done in the year. But Republicans noticed there were few specific requests of lawmakers.


House To Vote On Bill Repealing Affordable Care Act

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

The U.S. House will vote Wednesday on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The Senate has already passed it, but President Obama has vowed to veto it.


Growing Up In Houston, Ted Cruz Learned To Never Hold Back

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Before Ted Cruz was the firebrand Texas senator commandeering the Senate floor, he was a firebrand teenager reciting conservative ideology. (This piece initially aired on July 3, 2015 on ATC.)


8 Things Congress Actually Did This Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It is fair to say that the widely held assumption that Congress gets nothing done doesn't exactly fit in 2015. Some big issues, like guns and immigration, were left on the table, though.


The Year In Congress: How Did Republicans Do?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Republicans had something to prove when they took over both houses of Congress at the beginning of 2015 — that they could govern. So, did they prove it?


Encore: This Is Where Donald Trump Learned How To Beat The System

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

NPR looks back on Donald Trump's time in military school where he learned how to get ahead while playing by the rules. This story originally aired on Nov. 10, 2015 on Morning Edition.


Congress Unveils Massive Spending Bill To Fund Government

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Congress has unveiled a giant bill that will fund the government for the year and clarify the tax code. Congress will give itself an extension to get the bills passed before current funding runs out.


Justice Stephen Breyer On What The Court Does Behind Closed Doors, And Hamilton

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer joined the NPR Politics podcast to talk about his 'unusual' jobs, his increasing focus on global law and, yes, the musical.


Senate Passes Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood, Repeal Health Law

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The House has managed to vote more than 50 times to repeal all or part of the health care law, but it's always been tougher in the Senate. They are symbolic votes that the president would veto.


Republicans In Congress Call For Pause In Refugee Resettlement

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, Republicans in Congress are seeking action limiting President Obama's plan to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States.


This Is Where Donald Trump Played By The Rules And Learned To Beat The Game

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

"We used to refer to our detention as a 'DT' — a 'Donny Trump' — because he got more of them than most other people in the class," said one of Trump's grade school classmates.


Paul Ryan Wins Republican Nomination For Speaker Of The House

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan won the Republican nomination speaker of the House Wednesday, but there are questions about whether he will be able to bring together a fractured caucus.


White House And GOP Congressional Leaders Reach Budget Deal

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The deal increases spending for defense and domestic programs and raises the federal debt ceiling through March 2017. It now must be approved by both houses of Congress.