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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:

Trump Supporters Gather Near Capitol To Witness Inauguration

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump supporters packed in near the Capitol to watch the new president take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address on Friday.


Senate Takes First Step To Repeal Obamacare — So What's Next?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A late-night "vote-a-rama" set in motion the process for gutting key provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a way that evades Democrats' threat of a filibuster.


Protesters Interrupt Confirmation Hearing For Sen. Sessions As Attorney General

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Protesters interrupted the hearing where Jeff Sessions was being considered as Donald Trump's pick for attorney general. Groups oppose the nomination over Sessions' record on civil and voting rights.


To Save ACA, Obama Strategizes With Hill Dems

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to talk to Democrats about how to protect the Affordable Care Act from being dismantled by Republicans.


GOP Leaders Ready To Push Ambitious Agenda As Congress Returns

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Congress is back, and Republican leaders are ready to push an ambitious agenda with unified GOP control of Capitol Hill and the White House for the first time in a decade.


For Veterans, Trauma Of War Can Persist In Struggles With Sexual Intimacy

Sunday, January 01, 2017

What happens to sexual relationships after service members return from combat? Former Marine Chuck Rotenberry and his wife, Liz, open up about their struggles with sex and his PTSD.


From Bill Clinton To Trump, The Impersonator That Keeps On Giving

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Tim Watters made a career for himself impersonating Bill Clinton. That impersonation has become less relevant, but lucky for him, the 2016 election presented him with some new material: Donald Trump.


Carrie Fisher, The Novelist

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Carrie Fisher's well known for her acting and comedy. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Weekend Edition books editor Barrie Hardymon about why we should remember Fisher as not just a Hollywood star.


Trump's Responses In U.S.-Russia Dispute Roil Congress, Intelligence Community

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Weeks from Inauguration Day, there's a growing rift between how President Obama, some senators and some in the intelligence community view Russia, and how Trump tweets about Russia and its leader.


2016 Hands Russian President Vladimir Putin Momentum On World Stage

Sunday, January 01, 2017

As 2016 drew to a close, Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to retaliate for new U.S. sanctions. He hopes to turn a new page in the U.S.-Russia relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.


Despite Partisan Rancor, Democrats And Republicans Can Agree On Dogs

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The tunnels and offices of Capitol Hill bustle with lawmakers, lobbyists, reporters — and dogs. NPR's Ailsa Chang takes her dog Mickey to meet some congressional canines.


Trump's International Business Dealings Could Violate The Constitution

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A legal debate is heating up around a provision called the Emoluments Clause. Experts are examining whether Trump can legally continue dealing with companies controlled by foreign governments.


Jared Kushner And The Anti-Nepotism Statute That Might Keep Him From The White House

Friday, November 18, 2016

Ivanka Trump's husband, Jared Kushner, might not be able to fill a position in the White House because of a federal anti-nepotism statute.


Democrats Struggle To Agree On Path Forward After Trump Victory

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Still reeling from a disappointing election, congressional Democrats are trying to figure out a path forward. But there's disagreement about what that path looks like. House Democrats postponed their leadership elections amid discontent about the direction of their caucus. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats are roiling about how best to connect with working class voters.


GOP House Leaders Retain Positions In The New Congress

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The current Republican Party leadership have all been re-elected by unanimous voice vote for the 115th Congress. Speaker Paul Ryan was also re-nominated to lead the GOP in the new Congress.


Republicans Retain Control Of The House And Senate

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Voters across the country cast ballots in congressional races. Republican incumbents survived strong challenges, among them Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.


Justice Department Dedicating 'All Necessary Resources' To Review Emails Quickly

Monday, October 31, 2016

Also Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest refused to defend or criticize FBI Director James Comey for announcing fresh scrutiny of possible Clinton emails just days before the November election.


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.