Beth Fertig

Senior Reporter, WNYC News

Beth Fertig is a senior reporter covering courts and legal affairs. She focuses on how different New Yorkers interact with the civil and criminal justice systems. Her work explores whether justice is meted out fairly and whether programs within the courts can reduce incarceration and solve social problems. She also covers the federal immigration courts and how changes in immigration law affect New Yorkers under President Donald Trump's administration.

Beth started working at WNYC in 1995 covering city politics and spent many years covering public education. She is the author of Why cant u teach me 2 read? Three Students and a Mayor Put Our Schools to the Test (FSG Books) which grew out of a radio series on the low graduation rate for special education students. She also worked on the award-winning WNYC series  “Being 12” and reported on efforts to promote integration in the New York City public schools. Follow her @bethfertig.

Beth is a New York City native who discovered her love for journalism at her college newspaper at the University of Michigan. She also has a Master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. She’s won many local and national awards, including the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Columbia University Award for Broadcast Journalism for her series of reports in 2001 about an effort to privatize some struggling city schools.

Beth also won an Edward R. Murrow award for an investigation of a subway fire. And she’s won numerous awards from the city's Deadline Club, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the New York Press Club -- which gave her a special award after the 2001 terrorist attacks for a profile on the friendship of two WTC survivors.

Read Beth's latest reporting on Gothamist.

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

Why the Lawyers Accused of Throwing a Molotov Cocktail at NYPD Police Car Are in Federal Court

Monday, June 22, 2020

Urooj Rahman and Colinford Mattis were arrested in the early hours of May 30th, after a chaotic night in which protesters threw bottles at police and the NYPD responded with force.


SCOTUS Rules Trump Administration Can't End DACA

Thursday, June 18, 2020

WNYC's Jami Floyd and Beth Fertig discuss the Supreme Court's decision that the White House can't end the program that allows some children brought to the U.S. illegally to stay.

Accused Looters Spark Another Round of Debate on NY's Bail Law

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Mass arrests for looting have led some to question the new bail law, but others say it’s working as it’s intended, to stop avoid jailing people who are innocent until proven guilty.


As Housing Court Begins to Reopen, Tenant Advocates Fear Renewed Transmission of Coronavirus

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

New York City's civil courts are reopening, as judges and some staffers return. But even with limited business activity, tenant advocates worry the housing courts could soon get busy.

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Lawyers Accused of Throwing Molotov Cocktail at NYPD Vehicle Are Back In Jail

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Urooj Rahman and Colinford King Mattis are being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, after the federal government successfully challenged their release.


Why Soros' $20 Million Donation For Undocumented Immigrants Is Taking So Long To Distribute

Friday, June 05, 2020

A donation from George Soros’s Open Society Institute is taking longer to reach needy immigrants than some might have expected.


DACA Recipients Hurry to Renew Immigration Protections Before Supreme Court Ruling

Friday, May 29, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether President Trump acted legally by ending DACA, and many local immigrants are preparing in case the program is eliminated.


New Justice Center Brings Community Court to Rockaways

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Community leaders in an isolated corner of the city are seeking a different justice model for young people that’s closer to home.


A Flood of Lawsuits Expected Over Coronavirus

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

New York City courts still aren't allowing in-person hearings, unlike most of the state. But civil cases can now be filed electronically and many are related to the coronavirus.


Judge Asks Parties to Consider Mediation in Allegations that Federal Jail in Brooklyn Didn't Do Enough to Stop Spread of Coronavirus

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Judge Rachel Kovner said she was disinclined to order the release of three plaintiffs with underlying medical issues, because she couldn't conclude there was no way of keeping them safe.


In Arguments, Judge Hears Competing Versions Of How Brooklyn’s Federal Jail Worked To Contain Coronavirus

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Plaintiffs accuse the Metropolitan Detention Center of not doing enough to stop the virus from spreading, but the government claims it followed CDC guidance.


With More Releases From Rikers Due To Coronavirus Pandemic, What’s The Real Impact On Crime?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

After the city and state started releasing people from jail in March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the NYPD says about 8 percent of those who were let out were arrested again.


Despite New Subway Cleaning, This Early Morning Commuter Fears Riding the Train

Thursday, May 07, 2020

A doctor who rides the A train from Harlem to Queens describes feeling more nervous riding the subway than volunteering at a COVID-19 testing site.


Doctor Claims Conditions Inside Brooklyn's Federal Jail May Promote Covid-19 Spread, Instead of Stopping It

Monday, May 04, 2020

The doctor’s report was conducted as part of a lawsuit seeking the release of medically vulnerable inmates and improvements at the jail.


Why Foreign-Born Doctors Can’t Go Straight to Work During Pandemic

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

New York City has thousands of immigrants with healthcare degrees who aren't working in their chosen professions, even now.


New York City Sets Aside 5,000 More Hotel Rooms To Quarantine Residents

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Six-thousand rooms were already set aside for healthcare workers and homeless people. Now, those in overcrowded homes will also qualify if exposed to the coronavirus.


Caribbean Community Mourns Godfather of Reggae Radio

Thursday, April 16, 2020

The Caribbean American community in New York and beyond is mourning broadcast legend Gil Bailey, who reportedly died on Monday. 


COVID-19 Cases Surge on Long Island, Hitting Hispanic Communities Hard

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

New York state data show black and Hispanic people are disproportionately dying from COVID-19.


Immigrants Helping Immigrants At Two COVID-19 Testing Sites In New York City

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

A network of immigrant doctors is providing free drive-through tests in the Bronx and Queens, boroughs with high concentrations of immigrants, and where it’s hard to quarantine safely.


Immigration Judges and Lawyers Say Their Lives Are At Risk, As NYC Court Remains Open

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Judges must still report to the immigration court at Varick Street, even though it was closed Tuesday due to a case of coronavirus.