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.

Beth Fertig appears in the following:

City's Free Lawyer Program Ramps Up for Tenants

Thursday, November 09, 2017

In the dawn of the city's Right to Counsel program, low-income tenants in Bronx housing court navigate a somewhat chaotic and cryptic path to free legal assistance.

Comments [2]

Uzbeks In New York React To Attack

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The Uzbek immigrant community in New York reacts to the news that an Uzbek immigrant is the suspect in the bike path terror attack.


Cuomo Vetoes Gravity Knife Bill

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Gov. Cuomo has once again vetoed a bill that would have legalized gravity knives, despite concerns that many working class men of color are arrested for using them as legitimate tools.

Comments [2]

Subway Groper vs. Harvey Weinstein: Who's DA Vance More Likely to Prosecute?

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Manhattan DA is under attack by those who think he's more likely to prosecute a no-name New Yorker than a Hollywood executive, but the evidence is nuanced.

Comments [2]

Power, Money and the Manhattan DA's Sexual Misconduct Cases

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Cyrus Vance's decision not to prosecute media executive Harvey Weinstein has some questioning whether he's willing to take on powerful men. But there's no clear pattern.

Comments [3]

Reports Say Manhattan D.A. Declined to Prosecute Weinstein

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New reports claim Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. considered prosecuting Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein in 2015, but decided not to go forward. 


U.S. Seeks to Deport Immigrant Father of Autistic Child

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

The Trump administration has been arresting more immigrants without legal status, including the father of a Queens girl with autism. He could be deported this week.

Comments [2]

DACA Application Deadline Means Some Young Immigrants Won't Be Protected

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Local groups scrambled to help eligible young immigrants reapply for DACA status, but they also fear many won't meet the October 5th deadline.


Immigrant Arrests in New Jersey Largely Include Those Without Criminal Records

Monday, October 02, 2017

The Trump administration's crackdown on undocumented immigrants includes a shift in priorities. WNYC found almost half of those arrested in New Jersey had no criminal backgrounds.

Comments [2]

Federal Judge Scolds Trump Administration Over DACA Deadline

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn rebuked the Trump Administration for giving immigrants only until October 5th to reapply for the program that lets them work and avoid deportation.


Anthony Weiner Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Sexting

Monday, September 25, 2017

The former congressman's sexting with a 15-year-old girl rocked Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the White House in the closing days of the race, and may have cost her the presidency.

Comments [2]

'Ray of Hope' For Some DACA Recipients Pursuing Professions

Monday, September 25, 2017

With President Trump planning to rescind DACA unless Congress acts, recipients studying to enter professions face an uncertain future. But some might still be able to work in New York.


Westchester Democrats Seek to Override Astorino's Veto of Immigrant Protection Act

Monday, September 25, 2017

Democrats on the Westchester County Board of Legislators want to override County Executive Rob Astorino's veto of their Immigrant Protection Act Monday, but they need one more vote.

Comments [1]

DACA Recipients Scramble to Reapply, But Not All are Eligible

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program are figuring out who's eligible to reapply before President Trump's Oct. 5 deadline, and the window is very narrow.


Trump Administration Declines to Release Information on Immigration Enforcement

Friday, September 08, 2017

Federal authorities asked local jails and police to detain more immigrants earlier this year, then stopped responding to records requests.


Brooklyn DA's Pledge to Reduce Marijuana Prosecutions Makes Little Difference

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Three years ago, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced he would no longer prosecute as many people for marijuana possession. But WNYC found the impact wasn’t as big as expected.

Comments [2]

Brooklyn District Attorney Candidates Differ on Immigration Policy

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Acting Brooklyn D.A. Eric Gonzalez doesn't want convictions for minor crimes to affect a person's immigration status. But two of his opponents in next week's Democratic primary disagree.


Trump Administration, Rights Groups Reach Settlement Over First Travel Ban

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Justice Department has agreed to help approximately 150 people affected by President Trump's first travel ban reenter the U.S., as part of a settlement. 


In Brooklyn District Attorney Race, a Different Kind of Law-and-Order

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Democratic candidates promise to go light on prostitution, turnstile jumping and other "survival crimes" while cleaning out the DA's closets.


Study Finds the Southern Pine Beetle May be Chewing North

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The hungry southern pine beetle could spread along the Atlantic coast as far north as Nova Scotia by 2020, according to a new study by the journal Nature Climate Change.