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:

Still Too High? Marijuana Arrests Barely Budge in NYC

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Arrests for smoking and possessing marijuana in New York City stagnated in 2017, disappointing public defenders and drug reform advocates who want to decriminalize those activities.

Comment

Arrests and Protests Follow Detention of an Immigrant Activist

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Police arrested 18 people, including two city councilmembers, at a protest following the detention of immigration activist Ravi Ragbir of the New Sanctuary Coalition.

Comments [3]

For Immigrants, Reporting Fraud May Be Scarier Than Ever

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Since President Trump took office, undocumented immigrants seem more afraid to report scams, according to data WNYC collected from New York prosecutors and other agencies.

Comments [2]

Manhattan and Brooklyn DA's Stop Asking for Bail in Most Misdemeanor Cases

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The district attorneys said they'll take steps on their own to reduce inequality in the justice system by no longer asking for bail in most misdemeanor cases.

Comments [1]

What Can New York Learn from New Jersey's Bail Reform?

Thursday, January 04, 2018

New York Gov. Cuomo wants bail reform for New York. Across the river, New Jersey replaced cash bail with an algorithm that determines who should be locked up while awaiting trial.

Comment

Could Bail Reform Come to New York in 2018?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

New Jersey implemented sweeping changes to its bail system in 2017. Now, criminal justice advocates believe New York has an opportunity to make its own changes in 2018.

Comment

Yemeni Americans Say Trump's Travel Ban Tears Families Apart

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Yemeni Americans ignored the cold as they rallied in Lower Manhattan to protest the latest version of the travel ban, which they claim has kept relatives stranded abroad.

Comment

Are Immigrants Avoiding Court?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Advocates say yes, but there's no clear data to suggest immigrants are afraid to go to court because they may encounter Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

Comment

Volunteers In NYC Show Support For Immigrants At Court Appearances, Appointments

Monday, December 25, 2017

A new type of volunteer opportunity has taken off in New York City. Hundreds of people are going with immigrants to court appearances and appointments with immigration officials. With President Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration, they want to show solidarity, and be a friendly support system.

Comment

Needy New Yorkers Feel the Warmth on Christmas

Monday, December 25, 2017

Hundreds of people lined up for free winter coats on Christmas morning, as the New York Cares Coat Drive celebrated its 29th year of giving.

Comment

Wait, Hold That Wrapping Paper! It's Recyclable

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The city's sanitation department is urging New Yorkers to take a moment to think about recycling responsibly during the joy of unwrapping their holiday presents.

Comment

Volunteers Step Up For Immigrant 'Friends' in Need

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A growing number of New Yorkers are accompanying immigrants at court appearances and meetings with federal officials to provide moral support during a time of heightened fear.

Comments [6]

Federal Appeals Court Hears Arguments Over Trump's Decision to End DACA

Thursday, December 14, 2017

A federal appeals court panel in New York heard arguments in a case challenging the Trump Administration's decision to terminate DACA, the program that protects undocumented immigrants. 

Comment

ICE Sought Ten Times as Many People in NYC Jails as in Previous Year

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

WNYC has learned federal officials asked the city's Department of Correction to detain 10 times as many immigrants as last year. But the city said nobody met the criteria.

Comment

Immigrant Arrests Spike in Metro Area

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

More immigrants have been arrested since President Trump took office than in the previous year, including many with no criminal records.

Comment

Courthouse Immigration Arrest Leads to Courthouse Protest

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dozens of public defenders and other staffers marched outside Brooklyn misdemeanor court, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested a man on the premises.

Comments [1]

New Hope for New Yorkers With Criminal Convictions

Monday, November 27, 2017

New York state residents with old criminal records can apply to have their records sealed, under a new state law that went into effect last month.

Comment

Want to Become a U.S. Citizen? Prepare to Wait Longer

Monday, November 27, 2017

More people are applying to be naturalized, at least in part due to President Trump's policies, which in turn means it's taking longer to complete the process.

Comments [1]

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.

Comment