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:

When Senate Returns From Recess, Ferguson Will Top The Docket

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The controversy surrounding the police showdown with protesters in Ferguson, Mo., will be coming to Congress. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has scheduled a hearing to look into the confrontation.


Senate Control May Swing On North Carolina's Unpopularity Contest

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan wants voters to punish her GOP challenger Thom Tillis, the speaker of the state House, for unpopular laws. Tillis wants to aim anger toward the president at Hagan.


McDonnell Takes The Stand, Founding Defense On Marital Dysfunction

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In the corruption trial of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, McDonnell took the stand as a witness. Jeff E. Schapiro, politics columnist for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, discusses the testimony with Robert Siegel.


To Cope With Child Immigrants, Competing Plans Emerge From Congress

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The House and Senate have unveiled competing bills to deal with the influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border. Neither would give Obama all the funds he's asked for to deal with the crisis.


VA Nominee Steps Before Senate Committee

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Robert McDonald, President Obama's nominee to run the Department of Veterans Affairs, is appearing before the Senate for his confirmation hearing. He faces the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.


House GOP Counters Obama's Request By Promising Own Proposal

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

House Republicans have resisted granting President Obama's request for $3.7 billion in emergency immigration funds. Now, they're crafting a package of their own to respond to the crisis at the border.


Administration Officials Defend Funding Request To Stem Border Crisis

Friday, July 11, 2014

President Obama has asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the southern border crisis. There are predictions the number of unaccompanied children entering the U.S. could reach 90,000 by October.


Obama's Request For Immigration Funds Meets Pushback On The Hill

Thursday, July 10, 2014

President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to address the influx of immigrant children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The Senate Appropriations Committee is holding a hearing about the request.


Could A Socialist Senator Become A National Brand?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders opposes war and advocates for veterans. Even in the most conservative corner of Vermont, he's managed to do well. Now there's buzz that Sanders may run for president.


Supreme Court Invalidates 3 Obama Recess Appointments

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that temporary appointments President Obama made to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 were unconstitutional because the Senate was technically not in recess.


Addressing Border Crisis, Politicians Find Invitation In Misperception

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The House Committee on Homeland Security held a hearing Tuesday to address the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America.


GOP: McCarthy Voted Majority Leader; Scalise Chosen As Whip

Friday, June 20, 2014

House Republicans have elected Kevin McCarthy of California to succeed Eric Cantor as majority leader. Steve Scalise of Louisiana won the fight to replace McCarthy as majority whip.


GOP Completes Leadership Shuffle, As McCarthy And Scalise Step Up

Thursday, June 19, 2014

House Republicans voted on leadership positions. While Rep. Kevin McCarthy stepped up to the role of majority leader, Rep. Steve Scalise overcame a more crowded competition to replace McCarthy.


Hagel Defends Bergdahl Exchange Before House Panel

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel explained why the Obama administration agreed to swap five top Taliban leaders for the release of an Army enlisted man, who willingly left his post in Afghanistan.


Senators Reach Deal To Pay For Veterans' Care Outside VA System

Friday, June 06, 2014

Senators have reached a bipartisan agreement to build more clinics for veterans, hire more doctors and to allow the faster dismissals of senior level employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Outraged Senators Reach Across Aisle For Deal On VA Wait Times

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Senators have unveiled a bipartisan deal to build new medical centers for veterans and allow the quicker dismissal of high-level employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs. It's a reaction to the scandal that resulted in the departure of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki.


Old Senate Tradition Lies Behind Controversial Judge's Nomination

Thursday, May 29, 2014

President Obama nominated a controversial Georgia judge — one who once supported the display of the Confederate flag — for the federal bench. The White House says there's a particular reason for that.


Sen. Isakson: Boggs Fight Won't Break White House Deal

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Georgia GOP Sen. Johnny Isakson says if the judicial nomination of Michael Boggs gets derailed, it won't unravel the deal he worked out with the White House on federal bench nominees.


House Panel Wants More Done To Undermine Boko Haram

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The House Foreign Affairs Committee got a briefing on the threat from Boko Haram, a terrorist group that has kidnapped and is holding hundreds of Nigerian girls captive.


Obama Judicial Nominee Gets A Hostile Reception From Democrats

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing from a controversial nominee for the Georgia federal district court bench. Though President Obama nominated him, many Democrats take issue with his history.