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:

Hispanic Voters Key In Deciding Nevada's Tight Senate Race

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Control of the Senate will come down to just a handful of races, and Nevada is the only seat Republicans have a real chance of flipping. Three-term Republican Sen. Joe Heck is running almost even with Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. The race could come down to Hispanic voters, and Heck has tried to distance himself from Trump.


Michelle Obama Blasts Donald Trump Over Sexual Assault Allegations

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Michelle Obama delivered a speech on the sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump in a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.


In Indiana's Senate Race, Political Royalty Tries To Put On A Fresh Face

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh's double-digit lead in a Senate race has shrunk after weathering criticism for making a home in Washington, D.C., instead of Indiana during his years after the Senate.


Congress Wraps Up One Month's Work In One Day To Keep Government Running

Saturday, October 01, 2016

After weeks at a standstill, Congress wrapped up all the work it was supposed to do in September in just one day, from a veto override, to reaching a deal to keep government open through December 9th.


In A First For Obama, Senate Overturns Presidential Veto On Sept. 11 Bill

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Senate voted Wednesday to override President Obama's veto of a bill that allows the victims of Sept. 11 to sue Saudi Arabia for any role it may have played in the terror attacks. This is the first time Congress has successfully acted to overrule the president's veto.


Congress Reaches Agreement To Fund Government Until December

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

After weeks of negotiations, agreement over aid to Flint, Mich. will keep the government running through mid-December, narrowly avoiding a Sept. 30 deadline.


Congress Overrides Obama's Veto On Sept. 11 Lawsuit Bill

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The legislation allows families of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks to sue the Saudi Arabian government. The override is the first of Obama's presidency.


Congress Has One Week Left To Keep The Government Running Past September

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Congress has one job to do this month before its October recess: make a deal to keep the government funded past Sept. 30. But that hasn't happened yet.


Deal To Keep The Government Running Past Sept. 30 Eludes Congress

Friday, September 23, 2016

Congress has just one thing to do this month before its October recess: keep the federal government funded. With just one week left before the deadline, there's still no deal in sight.


Michelle Obama Energizes Young Voters For Clinton On Campaign Trail

Saturday, September 17, 2016

First Lady Michelle Obama used her enormous popularity to campaign for Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday, wooing millennial voters at a campus in northern Virginia.


Congress Faces Looming Deadline To Prevent Government Shutdown

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Congress returns Tuesday after a seven week recess and will face an end of September deadline to fund the government and prevent a shutdown. Lawmakers will also have to decide how to fund efforts to combat the spread of Zika. And all of this must be done in an election year where some Congress members face tough re-election battles of their own.


Polls: New Hampshire Senate Race Is Statistically Tied

Monday, September 05, 2016

It's getting awkward in New Hampshire's U.S. Senate race. To compete for independent voters, both sides are juggling uncomfortable relationships with the top of their tickets.


The Week Ahead In Politics

Sunday, August 07, 2016

It's been a rough week for Donald Trump's campaign — but his opponent, Hillary Clinton has had her stumbles as well. Ailsa Chang gets a rundown from NPR's Ron Elving.


Hillary Clinton Picks Her VP Nominee: Who Is Tim Kaine?

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hillary Clinton has tapped Virginia SenatorTim Kaine to be her running mate, completing the democratic presidential ticket.


Sen. Jeff Sessions: Loyal To Trump, Defined By Race And Immigration

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions backed Donald Trump early on. The two have at least one thing in common: both have been accused as being insensitive on issues of race.


Sen. Jeff Sessions Shares Donald Trump's Hardline View On Immigration

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Sessions was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump's candidacy. He's campaigned with Trump and serves as an important ally for the candidate that the GOP leadership still hasn't fully embraced.


GOP Leaders Criticize FBI Recommendation Not To Charge Hillary Clinton

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

House Speaker Paul Ryan says Hillary Clinton appears to have received preferential treatment in the investigation into her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. FBI Director James Comey recommended Tuesday that no charges be brought against Clinton.


Lawmakers Return To Washington With Contentious Issues On Their Plates

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Congress is back after its July 4 break, and after a full-throated protest by Democrats over gun control. They are under pressure to provide funding to fight Zika before they leave for the summer.


Senate Rejects 4 Gun Measures Sparked By Orlando Shooting

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The measures were introduced following a 15-hour talk-a-thon in which Democrats demanded new controls on gun sales following the shootings in Orlando, Fla.


Senate Rejects 4 Gun Proposals Inspired By Orlando Attack

Monday, June 20, 2016

Just over a week after the deadly nightclub rampage in Florida, the Senate has voted down measures to expand background checks and limit purchases by those on terrorism watch lists.