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:

Episode 774: Unspeakable Trademark

Friday, May 26, 2017

You can name your business whatever you want. But the government won't register it as a trademark if it thinks it's offensive. It gets weird when you try to decide what is too offensive to trademark.

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Economists Debate If Tax Cuts Pay For Themselves

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

A decades-old economic theory is making a comeback. The theory: tax cuts can pay for themselves. Trump administration advisers have repeated this mantra to explain their corporate tax rate cut.

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Lawyer Behind West Virginia County Lawsuit Against Opioid Distributors

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pharmaceutical distributors — the middle men in the opioid epidemic — have already been paying out millions to federal and state law enforcement officials for the companies' role in the crisis. But a new front in the legal battle against opioids has opened. One personal injury lawyer in small-town West Virginia has come up with a creative legal theory to go after these distributors so that small, ravaged communities can collect too.

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Episode 764: Pub In A Box

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

One man figured out how to reproduce the magic of an Irish pub, and ship it in a container to anywhere in the world.

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The Mastermind Behind The International Irish Pub

Friday, April 07, 2017

NPR's Planet Money team explores why Irish bars look so similar all over the world and what happens when you take an authentic national experience and turn it into an export.

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Judge Neil Gorsuch Sums Up His Philosophy In 7 Words

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Day 2 of his confirmation hearing, the U.S. Supreme Court nominee answers one question before the Senate Judiciary Committee with this: "I have one client, it's the law."

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How To Spend A Trillion Dollars

Thursday, March 16, 2017

President Trump says he wants to spend a trillion dollars on infrastructure. It's such a big number that it's hard to wrap your head around it. We try to figure out what that actually buys.

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House Speaker Welcomes Resignation Of National Security Adviser Flynn

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

House Speaker Paul Ryan welcomed the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, but many lawmakers have unanswered questions about contacts between the Trump team and Russia.

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The Power Center: How A Moderate Wields Big Influence In A Polarized Senate

Friday, February 10, 2017

Maine Republican Susan Collins recently opposed Betsy DeVos for education secretary. Collins will be at the center of some of President Trump's big fights, from health care to the Supreme Court.

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In Divided Senate, Maine's Susan Collins Emerges As Critical Voice

Thursday, February 09, 2017

With Republicans in control of a closely divided Senate, Susan Collins, a centrist GOP senator from Maine, has once again emerged as a critical voice and vote on big issues.

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Trump Tells GOP To 'Go Nuclear' If Democrats Block Supreme Court Nominee

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

President Trump encouraged Senate Republicans to "go nuclear" if Democrats filibuster his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch. But it's not clear either side is prepared to take things that far and upend Senate order.

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Trump Made His Supreme Court Pick. Now What? 5 Steps To Confirmation

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

President Trump has nominated Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the vacant ninth seat on Tuesday. There are a series of actions required to make the replacement official; it is expected to take months.

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Trump Supporters Gather Near Capitol To Witness Inauguration

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump supporters packed in near the Capitol to watch the new president take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address on Friday.

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Senate Takes First Step To Repeal Obamacare — So What's Next?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A late-night "vote-a-rama" set in motion the process for gutting key provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a way that evades Democrats' threat of a filibuster.

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Protesters Interrupt Confirmation Hearing For Sen. Sessions As Attorney General

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Protesters interrupted the hearing where Jeff Sessions was being considered as Donald Trump's pick for attorney general. Groups oppose the nomination over Sessions' record on civil and voting rights.

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To Save ACA, Obama Strategizes With Hill Dems

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to talk to Democrats about how to protect the Affordable Care Act from being dismantled by Republicans.

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GOP Leaders Ready To Push Ambitious Agenda As Congress Returns

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Congress is back, and Republican leaders are ready to push an ambitious agenda with unified GOP control of Capitol Hill and the White House for the first time in a decade.

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For Veterans, Trauma Of War Can Persist In Struggles With Sexual Intimacy

Sunday, January 01, 2017

What happens to sexual relationships after service members return from combat? Former Marine Chuck Rotenberry and his wife, Liz, open up about their struggles with sex and his PTSD.

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From Bill Clinton To Trump, The Impersonator That Keeps On Giving

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Tim Watters made a career for himself impersonating Bill Clinton. That impersonation has become less relevant, but lucky for him, the 2016 election presented him with some new material: Donald Trump.

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Carrie Fisher, The Novelist

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Carrie Fisher's well known for her acting and comedy. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Weekend Edition books editor Barrie Hardymon about why we should remember Fisher as not just a Hollywood star.

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