Streams

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:

Hey, Superheroes On The National Mall: Any Advice For Congress?

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gathered in Washington for a comic book convention, these costumed enthusiasts shared how their favorite characters would run the country.

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As Election Nears, Congress Is Expected To Be Less Productive

Monday, April 14, 2014

If anything, 2014 has been marked with a flurry of show votes. Those are votes on bills that have no realistic hope of passing Congress, but are done to make political points.

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Mega-Donor Opens Wallet On The Hill To Kill Online Gambling

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Sheldon Adelson is possibly the most influential campaign donor in the U.S. He also happens to be the head of the Sands casino empire, and now he's behind a push in Congress to ban online gambling.

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Ryan's Budget Plan Takes Midterm Elections Into Consideration

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans both can find a lot to love in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's latest budget proposal. In the Senate, there's no chance the plan will pass.

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As Obamacare Deadline Nears, Louisiana Gets Special Attention

Thursday, March 27, 2014

With enrollment numbers lagging, residents getting bombarded with anti-ACA ads and a close Senate race serving as a backdrop, the state was the focus of a White House conference call Thursday.

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How To Meet Your Congressman

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Arranging face time with members of Congress and their staffs is such a challenge that businesses in Washington exist to do nothing other than try to schedule meetings.

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With Clock Ticking Down, Obama Polishes Judicial Legacy

Friday, March 21, 2014

The profile of the judiciary has already changed significantly under the president, especially when it comes to the number of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans he's appointed.

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Senators Agree To Compromise Extending Jobless Benefits

Friday, March 14, 2014

Negotiators in the Senate reached a bi-partisan deal to extend unemployment benefits for 5 months, retroactive to the end of last year. A full Senate vote isn't expected until later this month.

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Gillibrand, McCaskill Square Off Over Military Assault Prosecutions

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Senate has rejected a measure that would have allowed military prosecutors — rather than commanders — decide which sexual assault cases to pursue. The 2 female senators were on opposite sides.

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Senate Blocks Military Sexual Assault Reforms

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Senate has blocked a bill introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, which had proposed revisions to military procedures for punishing and preventing sexual assault.

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Democrats Help Block Nominee For DOJ's Top Civil Rights Job

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The nomination of Debo Adegbile, a civil rights lawyer who helped handle the appeal of a cop killer, forced Democrats to choose between infuriating law enforcement groups or angering minority voters.

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House Approves Measure To Ease Flood Insurance Hikes

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Two years ago, an overhaul bill passed with the goal of pulling the federal program out of debt. When homeowners started calling lawmakers about sharp premium hikes, both chambers moved swiftly.

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FEMA Flood Insurance Law Faces Partial Repeal Over Premiums

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The law, passed in 2012, was meant to shift the financial risk of insuring flood-zone properties to homeowners. But some residents' premiums have skyrocketed.

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Democratic Sen. Landrieu Walks A Fine Line In Red Louisiana

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Democrat has won some conservatives in the state with her strong defense of the oil industry. But her support for Obamacare may sink her.

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Congress Divided On NSA Role

Saturday, January 18, 2014

President Obama's proposed changes for NSA surveillance rules include some that would need congressional approval. But that could prove a challenge, with members of Congress divided about the spy agency's activities.

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When Lobbyists Literally Write The Bill

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.

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Senate Committee Grills Sebelius Over Health Law

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.

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Obama's Nominations Blocked Again In Senate

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.

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Sebelius: Hold Me Accountable For HealthCare.gov Debacle

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.

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Health Site Glitches Have At-Risk Democrats Favoring Delay

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.

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