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:

Why Elizabeth Warren Is An Effective Messenger For Progressive Democrats

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sen. Warren is increasingly taking on Donald Trump. She's also a prolific fundraiser and promoter of Senate Democrats who are running for election intent on regaining a majority.


White House Request For Emergency Zika Funding Hits Roadblock In Congress

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Obama administration requested $1.9 billion in emergency funding to prepare against the Zika virus. Congressional Republicans say the administration doesn't need all that money now and insist the White House is asking for a blank check.


Presidential Campaign Slows Progress On Capitol Hill

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Even for an election year, 2016 is turning out to be a particularly unproductive year for Congress. House GOP leaders are struggling to pass a budget — a modest goal at best — while other legislative items are getting punted until after the election.


After Brief Lockdown At U.S. Capitol, Here's What We Know

Monday, March 28, 2016

NPR's congressional correspondent Ailsa Chang explains what happened Monday at the Capitol complex, where a man with a weapon entered the Visitor Center and was shot by Capitol police.


Sen. McConnell Obstructs Merrick Garland Nomination Vote

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Senate majority leader refuses to hold a hearing on the Supreme Court nominee. After Obama named Garland, McConnell has maintained his position that the pick should be made by the next president.


Supreme Court Nominee Merrick Garland Meets With Top Democrats On The Hill

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland makes his first rounds on the Hill Thursday to meet with senators in person. But the only appointments on the schedule are with two Democrats. He has no meetings with Republicans yet.


Sen. Mitch McConnell Repeats Pledge To Block Obama Supreme Court Nominee

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

President Obama has settled on Judge Merrick Garland to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. Garland was approved for confirmation to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., by the Senate in 1997, and he is widely viewed as a moderate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated his pledge that the Senate would not take any steps toward confirming Obama's nominee, setting up a judicial confirmation fight that will now take center stage in the current election drama.


Obama's Will To Fill Justice Seat Widens Rift With McConnell

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The relationship between President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell the last 7 years has been often confrontational and awkward, marked by occasional bouts of productive deal-making.


Ted Cruz And The Senate: Now We've Got Bad Blood

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Republican presidential candidate hadn't received a single endorsement from his Senate colleagues until this week.


Senate Republicans Refuse To Consider Obama Supreme Court Nominee

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Every Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has signed a letter pledging they won't hold any hearings on any Supreme Court nominee President Obama names this year.


Senate GOP Faces Split On Supreme Court Vacancy

Thursday, February 18, 2016

When Congress returns from recess next week, it will be the first time since Justice Antonin Scalia's death for Senate Republicans to hash out face-to-face exactly what they're going to do about the newest Supreme Court vacancy. And rumblings from Republican senators dispersed across the country right now suggest next ...


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.