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:
Thursday, May 16, 2013
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is sponsoring legislation cracking down on sexual assault in the military.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand is introducing legislation with other lawmakers Thursday that would change the way the military prosecutes sexual assault cases. It's the latest high-publicity move for a senator who was almost unknown four years ago when she was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's seat.
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
The Senate is considering legislation to prevent a global helium shortage from worsening in October. That's when the Federal Helium Program is set to terminate.
Monday, May 06, 2013
The Senate minority leader is up for re-election next year, and polling in his state shows his popularity is suffering. Some voters complain that Mitch McConnell is out of touch with the people of the Bluegrass State, and others say it's time for some new blood. Still, he will be hard to beat.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems determined to become the formidable adversary the NRA has never had. The billionaire mayor is spending from his personal fortune to help defeat lawmakers who voted against gun control proposals last week. His first target: Democrat Mark Pryor of Arkansas.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Under current laws, if a background check shows your name is on the national terror watch list, you can still purchase a gun. Government data show that people on terrorism watch lists were able to buy guns or explosives after a background check more than 1,300 times between 2004 and 2010.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Senate Republicans and a small group of Democrats have teamed up to reject every major gun control proposal President Obama pushed since last December's shootings in Newtown, Ct. The proposals include expanded background checks, a ban on assault weapons and a limit on ammunition magazines.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The Senate has rejected a compromise background checks language pushed by Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey. It could mean the end of gun control legislation in Congress, at least for a while. Ailsa Chang joins Robert Siegel from the Capitol with the latest.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Some gun rights supporters point out that only a tiny fraction of people caught trying to buy a gun illegally are ever prosecuted. They say the government should focus on enforcing current law, not expanding background checks. But gun control supporters say that argument misses the point.
Friday, April 12, 2013
The Senate is officially moving toward debate on gun control legislation. To do that, Democratic leaders on Thursday first had to defeat a Republican filibuster. They did so with the help of 16 Republicans. The procedural vote was a victory for gun-control supporters, but more battles lie ahead.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Congress took a major step toward its first gun bill in nearly two decades on Thursday morning, as Democratic leaders broke a Republican filibuster to stop a proposal expanding criminal background checks for gun buyers. Sixteen Republican joined all but two Democrats to move forward with the bill. Ailsa Chang joins Audie Cornish from the Capitol to explain what it means, and what happens next.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
The Senate is expected to hold its first floor vote on a gun bill since the Newtown school shootings on Thursday. It's an attempt to move forward on legislation expanding the use of criminal background checks for gun buyers. Some Republicans had threatened a filibuster to stop the measure, but support for that tactic appears to have diminished.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
More than three months after the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., the U.S. Senate is poised to bring a gun bill to the floor on Thursday. It's far weaker than what gun control advocates had hoped for, but nonetheless faces a Republican filibuster because gun rights groups say it goes too far.
Sunday, April 07, 2013
Senate staffers say a bipartisan agreement has yet to be reached on universal background checks, and that snarl may end up delaying a vote on gun legislation for another week. Lobbyists on both sides of the debate are using the extra time to keep the pressure on.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The court OK'd a suit against the federal government over alleged sexual assault by prison guards. The decision broadens the reading of the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
As oral arguments were held Tuesday in the first of two same-sex-marriage cases inside the Supreme Court, the steps and sidewalks outside were transformed into a public forum of sorts on the issue.
Monday, March 25, 2013
Court watchers and linestanders have been queued up outdoors for days seeking entry to this week's Supreme Court arguments on gay marriage. But a late-March snow raised the ante overnight.
Friday, March 22, 2013
The 20 women in the U.S. Senate this year is the largest number in history. Female senators also now claim an unprecedented number of leadership positions. And several female senators interviewed say that is causing a change on Capitol Hill in the tone and process of legislating.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Legislation passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee inspired a few extreme examples for and against it. But the battle might just get tougher on the Senate floor, particularly for the proposed assault weapons ban.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
President Obama is in the middle of a charm offensive on Capitol Hill, hoping to win over converts to his way of thinking on a variety of topics. This week, he's making the rounds to get closer to a plan to reduce the deficit. That plan — if it ever comes to fruition — has been dubbed "the Grand Bargain."