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:

Newsom Won, But He Won Big With Latinos

Thursday, September 16, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Sonja Diaz, director of the Latino Policy and Politics Initiative at UCLA, about the significance of the Latino vote in California gubernatorial recall election.

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Gymnasts Testify That The FBI Failed To Protect Them Against Nassar

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Gymnasts testifying on Capitol Hill on Wednesday repeatedly said that the FBI failed to protect them from Larry Nassar.

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Does Senate Testimony On Afghanistan Withdrawal Offer Clarity — Or Frustrations?

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., a member of the Armed Services Committee who heard testimony from Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller about the messy withdrawal from Afghanistan.

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Remembering George Wein, Founder Of The Newport Jazz Festival

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Christian McBride, host of Jazz Night in America about the life of George Wein, who founded the Newport Jazz Festival.

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Lack Of Broadband Creates Daily Struggle On Reservation In Northern Nevada

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Millions of Americans, especially those in rural and tribal areas, don't have reliable internet access. The infrastructure bill in Congress sets aside $65 billion to address the problem.

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A Look Back At The Dark Legacy Of Abimael Guzmán

Monday, September 13, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Renzo Aroni, historian of modern Latin America, about the legacy of Abimael Guzmán, founder of the Shining Path, who died on Saturday.

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United Airlines CEO On The Decision To Put Unvaccinated Employees On Leave In October

Friday, September 10, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby about the airline's announcement that they will put their unvaccinated employees on temporary leave starting in October.

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Teens Leylah Fernandez And Emma Raducanu To Face Off At The U.S. Open Women's Final

Friday, September 10, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with sports writer Lindsay Gibbs about Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, the two teen tennis players who will go head-to-head at the U.S. Open women's final on Saturday.

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Los Angeles Students Over 12 Will Need To Be Vaccinated Against COVID By January

Friday, September 10, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Megan Reilly, interim superintendent for the Los Angeles Unified School District, about the decision to require all students 12 and older to be vaccinated against COVID.

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Biden's Coronavirus Response Coordinator Talks About New COVID Plan

Thursday, September 09, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients about the Biden administration's new measures to curb COVID-19, like mandating vaccination in many workplaces.

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Podcast Host On Escaping Nigeria's Twitter Ban

Thursday, September 09, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with podcast host Chika Uwazie about leaving Nigeria due to a political atmosphere which set off a social media crackdown, threats and economic consequences.

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NFL Kicks Off Again During The Pandemic

Thursday, September 09, 2021

The NFL is back. So are the fans. COVID-19 has never left. How will the league deal with full crowds during a pandemic? NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Lindsay Jones, who covers the NFL for The Athletic.

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Emergency Doctor Weighs In On Biden's COVID Strategy

Thursday, September 09, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician, on President Biden's strategy to slow the spread of the coronavirus delta variant.

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The Future Of Vaping Is In The FDA's Hands

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Kathleen Hoke, professor of law at the University of Maryland, about the decision the FDA faces on which e-cigarettes are safe for the public and which should be removed.

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Reports Claimed That Police Left In Droves Due To BLM. New Data Say That's Not True

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Weihua Li, data reporter at the Marshall Project, about the data showing police officers didn't leave the force in droves in response to the Black Lives Matters protests.

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Mexico's Abortion Ruling Could Mean Change For The Country And The Region

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with María Antonieta Alcalde, director of reproductive rights organization Ipas in Central America and Mexico, on what Mexico's recent abortion ruling means for Latin America.

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Mexico's Supreme Court Has Unanimously Struck Down A Law Which Criminalized Abortion

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

In a unanimous decision, Mexico's supreme court has struck down a state law that criminalized abortion. Advocates say the historic ruling opens the door for legal abortions nation-wide.

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American Academy Of Pediatrics Wants To See COVID-19 Vaccine Approved For Children

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with American Academy of Pediatrics President Lee Savio Beers about the mounting pressure to consider emergency use authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12.

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New Jersey Governor Wants More Hurricane Disaster Relief For Hard-Hit Counties

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

NPR'S Ailsa Chang speaks with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy about the devastation Hurricane Ida brought and what state and federal governments are doing to provide assistance to those affected.

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'It's Not Just Twerk Music': Podcast Traces The Complex History Of Reggaeton

Friday, August 20, 2021

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with Marlon Bishop and Julio A. Pabón, the creators of the podcast LOUD, about the history of the popular musical genre Reggaeton.

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