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:

Congress Has One Week Left To Keep The Government Running Past September

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Congress has one job to do this month before its October recess: make a deal to keep the government funded past Sept. 30. But that hasn't happened yet.


Deal To Keep The Government Running Past Sept. 30 Eludes Congress

Friday, September 23, 2016

Congress has just one thing to do this month before its October recess: keep the federal government funded. With just one week left before the deadline, there's still no deal in sight.


Michelle Obama Energizes Young Voters For Clinton On Campaign Trail

Saturday, September 17, 2016

First Lady Michelle Obama used her enormous popularity to campaign for Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday, wooing millennial voters at a campus in northern Virginia.


Congress Faces Looming Deadline To Prevent Government Shutdown

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Congress returns Tuesday after a seven week recess and will face an end of September deadline to fund the government and prevent a shutdown. Lawmakers will also have to decide how to fund efforts to combat the spread of Zika. And all of this must be done in an election year where some Congress members face tough re-election battles of their own.


Polls: New Hampshire Senate Race Is Statistically Tied

Monday, September 05, 2016

It's getting awkward in New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race. To compete for independent voters, both sides are juggling uncomfortable relationships with the top of their tickets.


The Week Ahead In Politics

Sunday, August 07, 2016

It's been a rough week for Donald Trump's campaign — but his opponent, Hillary Clinton has had her stumbles as well. Ailsa Chang gets a rundown from NPR's Ron Elving.


Hillary Clinton Picks Her VP Nominee: Who Is Tim Kaine?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton has tapped Virginia SenatorTim Kaine to be her running mate, completing the democratic presidential ticket.


Sen. Jeff Sessions: Loyal To Trump, Defined By Race And Immigration

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions backed Donald Trump early on. The two have at least one thing in common: both have been accused as being insensitive on issues of race.


Sen. Jeff Sessions Shares Donald Trump's Hardline View On Immigration

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sessions was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump's candidacy. He's campaigned with Trump and serves as an important ally for the candidate that the GOP leadership still hasn't fully embraced.


GOP Leaders Criticize FBI Recommendation Not To Charge Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Hillary Clinton appears to have received preferential treatment in the investigation into her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. FBI Director James Comey recommended Tuesday that no charges be brought against Clinton.


Lawmakers Return To Washington With Contentious Issues On Their Plates

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Congress is back after its July 4 break, and after a full-throated protest by Democrats over gun control. They are under pressure to provide funding to fight Zika before they leave for the summer.


Senate Rejects 4 Gun Measures Sparked By Orlando Shooting

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The measures were introduced following a 15-hour talk-a-thon in which Democrats demanded new controls on gun sales following the shootings in Orlando, Fla.


Senate Rejects 4 Gun Proposals Inspired By Orlando Attack

Monday, June 20, 2016

Just over a week after the deadly nightclub rampage in Florida, the Senate has voted down measures to expand background checks and limit purchases by those on terrorism watch lists.


Will Senate Democrats' Talk-A-Thon Get Movement On Gun Legislation?

Friday, June 17, 2016

The outcome of Monday's gun legislation votes may surprise no one, but some Senate Democrats are convinced their talk-a-thon has prompted colleagues on the other side to brainstorm workable solutions.


Orlando Mass Shooting Reignites Calls For Stricter Gun Laws

Monday, June 13, 2016

The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., has reignited calls on Capitol Hill for tighter gun laws.


Sanders To Work With Clinton But Plans To Compete In D.C.'s Primary

Friday, June 10, 2016

Bernie Sanders pledged to work with Hillary Clinton to defeat Donald Trump. But later on Thursday at his last rally of the primary season, he carried on as if determined to become the next president.


Senate Colleagues Mount Pressure On Bernie Sanders To 'Stand Down Now'

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

It's getting awkward in the Senate, where members go out of their way to avoid directly chastising each other. The low-simmering annoyance with Sanders for staying in the contest is palpable.


Talk Softly, Swing A Big Tweet: Elizabeth Warren's Unconventional Messaging

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Massachusetts senator has become one of the most aggressive anti-Trump voices in her party. But inside the Senate hallways, she doesn't behave like a woman who wants to be heard.


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.