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:

Mitski's Many Lives

Friday, August 10, 2018

Mitski's new album Be the Cowboy explores the singer's roles onstage, in relationships and as a woman in the world. The artist talked to NPR's Ailsa Chang about how there's no such thing as one identity.

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Joshua Tree Provides Beacon For Artists And Seekers In The California Desert

Monday, August 06, 2018

Travel website Atlas Obscura and All Things Considered team up for a West Coast summer road trip from California to Washington. The journey starts in the desert outside Los Angeles.

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Dozens Of Goats Take Over Boise Neighborhood

Friday, August 03, 2018

A herd of over 100 goats invaded a neighborhood in Boise on Friday morning. They ate their way through several front yards, but the neighbors were mostly amused — along with the rest of the country.

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'Women Are Not One Thing': The 2018 Turning The Tables List Shines With Diversity

Monday, July 30, 2018

NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Marissa Lorusso explore the diversity and staying power found in the songs on NPR Music's list of the 200 Greatest Songs By 21st Century Women+.

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Grim Realities Meet Magic And Absurdity In 'The Wrong Heaven'

Friday, July 27, 2018

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with author Amy Bonnaffons about her first collection of short stories, The Wrong Heaven.

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Zero-Sum Tactics That Built Trump Inc. Could Backfire With World Leaders

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

NPR's Ailsa Chang speaks with David Honig, who teaches negotiations at Indiana University, on how President Trump has employed a technique called "distributive bargaining," and how that can backfire.

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The Name Behind This Year's Most Popular Album? P.T. Barnum

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

The soundtrack to the movie The Greatest Showman is outselling Kanye West, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake this year. Critic Rob Harvilla reviewed the album for The Ringer and explains its success.

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White House Launches Effort To Take Citizenship From Those Who Lied To Get It

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

When an immigrant becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen, there's a sense of permanence. But a Trump administration effort is seeking those who cheated to get citizenship, and plans to take it from them.

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America's Next Top Rest Stop: An App Compiles The Best Gas Station Bathrooms

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Millions of Americans are hitting the roads for the holiday. With road trips come pit stops, and fuel price tracker Gas Buddy has compiled a list of the best bathrooms using user reviews.

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On Independence Day, Minting Thousands Of New Americans

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

At a Fourth of July naturalization ceremony in New Hampshire, newly minted American citizens take the oath. They're among nearly 14,000 people across the country who are becoming Americans this week.

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As America Turns A Year Older, Poll Finds Patriotism Has Slipped A Bit

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Gallup Editor in Chief Frank M. Newport about a new poll that finds, for the first time, that less than half of Americans are extremely proud of their citizenship.

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Ex-CIA Director On National Security, Post-Truth 'Assault On Intelligence'

Monday, April 30, 2018

Michael Hayden's new book critiques the forces threatening the U.S. intelligence community, including President Trump, at a time he says the community's work has never been harder or more important.

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'Insane': America's 3 Largest Psychiatric Facilities Are Jails

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Alisa Roth's new book suggests U.S. jails and prisons have become warehouses for the mentally ill. They often get sicker in these facilities, Roth says, because they don't get appropriate treatment.

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In 'The New Face Of America,' Journalist Alex Wagner Saw Herself

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In 1993, Wagner saw a computer-generated face on Time magazine that reminded her a lot of her own. The journalist searches for answers about her own ancestry in her new book, Futureface.

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'He Wants To Be Remembered': Tiny Desk Contestant Finds His Voice While Fighting ALS

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Bernie Dalton had a dream to make music, but when he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, he was even more determined.

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Basketball, Marijuana And Poetry: These Police Tweet More Than Crime Alerts

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Lawrence, Kan., police department's account has over 100,000 Twitter followers. It's well-known for tweets that use humor to reach its community.

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Runner Tells Herself 'Just Show Up For One More Mile' — And Wins The Boston Marathon

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Desiree Linden fought through wind and rain on Monday to become the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985. Her victory came after she nearly bailed out during the race.

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Pulitzer-Winning Photographer Made Charlottesville Photo On His Last Day On The Job

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Photographer Ryan Kelly, was just finishing four years at The Daily Progress when he captured the image of a car plowing into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Va.

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Chinese Dissident Finds Struggles, Independence In America After Immigrating

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Lauren Hilgers's new book Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown charts the journey of Chinese dissident Zhuang Liehong, who immigrates to Queens, N.Y., from his village in Guangdong, China.

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Parkland Shooting Survivor Discusses Newfound Activism To End Gun Violence

Friday, March 23, 2018

In advance of the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington, Gabe Glassman, a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, and his mother, Lisa Glassman, discuss how they've changed since the shooting.

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