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 893: Our Valentines 2019

Friday, February 08, 2019

We're back for our annual tradition: Channeling another year's worth of jealousy and self-loathing into a whole episode just for you. Happy Valentine's Day!


Episode 888: The First Shutdown

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

In 1879, Congress and the President were locked in a battle over the rights of African-Americans. It led to the first government shutdown.


Janelle Monáe On Her 'Dirty,' World-Dominating Year

Friday, December 21, 2018

Monáe's Dirty Computer can be found on just about every list of the best albums of 2018 — and it topped NPR's. The songwriter, actress and self-styled media exec says it could only have happened now.


Dermot Kennedy, NPR Slingshot's Best New Artist

Monday, December 17, 2018

NPR Music fans have chosen Dermot Kennedy as Slingshot Best New Artist of 2018. In a conversation with NPR's Ailsa Chang, Kennedy talks about the pressures of newfound success and his dedication to the craft.


Director Barry Jenkins Talks On Behalf Of 'Beale Street'

Thursday, December 06, 2018

The director of Moonlight has made a new film: If Beale Street Could Talk, based on the James Baldwin novel. He's using it to represent black complexity, vulnerability and skin colors.


Novelist And 'Book Matchmaker' Tayari Jones Shares Her Favorite Books Of 2018

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Ahead of the holidays this year, All Things Considered is inviting writers to talk about the books they'll be gifting to friends and family. Jones, author of An American Marriage, shares her list.


Federal Legislation Seeks Ban On Shackling Of Pregnant Inmates

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Incarcerated pregnant women are often shackled during medical appointments and childbirth. A provision in a criminal justice bill aims to end the practice in federal facilities.


Special Counsel: Flynn Provided 'Substantial' Help To Probe

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

The special counsel says former national Security adviser Michael Flynn has provided "substantial" assistance and has sat for 19 interviews with the government.


In Love With Teen Lit: Remembering The 'Paperback Crush' Of The '80s And '90s

Monday, December 03, 2018

As a preteen Gabrielle Moss devoured books in "The Baby-Sitters Club" and "Sweet Valley High" series. She recently reread them for "nostalgic stress relief" and ended up writing a book on the genre.


In 'Solo,' Chef Anita Lo Celebrates The Art Of Cooking For One

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Meals for one should not be a sad or boring affair, says Michelin-starred chef Anita Lo. In her new cookbook, Lo goes beyond bitter greens, blue cheese and monkfish to serve up fun meals for one.


'In My Father's House' Explores How Crime Spreads Through Generations

Monday, October 22, 2018

Nearly 60 people in the Bogle family have been incarcerated. In a new book, journalist Fox Butterfield chronicles the Bogles' history to show how crime runs in families — and disentangle it from race.


How Will GOP Adapt To Shifting Arizona Demographics?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Arizona will be majority-minority by 2030. As Arizona's Latino population rapidly grows, what efforts are Republicans making to court the Latino vote?


In 'Gmorning, Gnight!' Jonny Sun And Lin-Manuel Miranda Craft A Peppy Pick-Me-Up

Friday, October 12, 2018

What if, instead of reaching compulsively for your phone for comfort and distraction, you could pick up a book? That's what Lin-Manuel Miranda and illustrator Jonny Sun aimed for in their new book.


Steve Perry's New Life: 'I've Rediscovered The Passion For Music'

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

After decades out of the public eye, Steve Perry, the former Journey frontman, has a new solo album out.


Episode 867: Special Report: Asylum Crackdown

Friday, September 28, 2018

We tell the story of a massive crackdown on asylum fraud, and the fallout.


Thousands Could Be Deported As Government Targets Asylum Mills' Clients

Friday, September 28, 2018

In 2012, a Justice Department probe shut down law firms that helped Chinese asylum-seekers fabricate or inflate claims of persecution. The clients were left alone, but now 13,500 may have to leave.


'Gross Anatomy' Turns Humor On Taboos About The Female Body

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Author Mara Altman got tired of hiding her hairy, sweaty self from the world, and set out to reframe the shame in her latest book of essays — part memoir, part scientific exploration, part manifesto.


Camille Thurman Is A Rare Jazz Double Threat

Friday, August 24, 2018

The accomplished saxophonist and singer discusses her latest album 'Waiting for the Sunrise' and defying misconceptions about women in jazz.


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.


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.