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:

Reactions from Times Square to Bin Laden's Death

Monday, May 02, 2011

Ailsa Chang, reporter for our flagship station WNYC, talks to us about what the scene is like in Times Square this morning, following the news that U.S. forces have killed Osama Bin Laden. 


Faisal Shahzad Pleads Guilty to 10 Terror-Related Charges

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-born American citizen who attempted to blow up a car in Times Square, pleaded guilty yesterday to ten terror-related charges. “I want to plead guilty 100 times over,” said Shahzad in Manhattan federal court. He went on to describe his training in Pakistan and the events leading up to the attempted bombing.

We talk with WNYC reporter Ailsa Chang, who was in the courtroom.


Latest on Investigation and Interrogation of Faisal Shahzad

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The question everybody is asking this week has been, who is 30-year-old Faisal Shahzad, the man held and accused of placing a car bomb in New York's Times Square over the weekend? After two days of intense interrogation efforts, news continues to trickle in about the motives and connections behind the attempted attack.

Comments [5]

Alleged Bomber to Arrive at New York Courthouse

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

WNYC reporter Ailsa Chang is at the Manhattan federal courthouse where the alleged Times Square bomb suspect, Faisal Shahzad is expected to arrive. The courthouse is mobbed with news cameras all waiting for his arrival.


Yankee Stadium Falls Short of Neighborhood Promises

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baseball's World Series is set to kick off tonight, pitting the New York Yankees against the Philadelphia Phillies. The first two games of the World Series will be played in the new Y...

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Re-Making Times Square

Monday, May 25, 2009

One of the most famously congested and crowded spots in the world is Times Square in New York City. Starting today, segments of its main thoroughfare, Broadway, will be closed to ca...


Stormy Weather? Predictions for the Hurricane Season

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1st, with forecasters predicting a near-normal hurricane season. Statistically speaking, "normal" translates into a 70 percent chance of four...


A Long Way From Home: The Pirate's Day In Court

Thursday, May 21, 2009

After the U.S. Navy rescued the captain of the Maersk Alabama (he was being held hostage by Somali pirates), one lone pirate survived. The teenager, Abduhl Wali-i-Musi, is being indic...


Adam! Kris! Squeeee! It's the American Idol Finale.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Adam or Kris? Adam or Kris? That was the question dividing Americans as they chose their American Idol. Adam Lambert, or Glambert as he is known in among fans, is a black nail-polishe...


Traffic Jam: How to Reduce Congestion

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

By 2050, there will be 130 million more people in the country, relying on an increasingly aging and inadequate transportation system. The stimulus money is supposed to help— tens of b...

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Invest Like A Woman

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Warren Buffett invests like a girl. He’s patient and does thorough research. He doesn’t take huge risks. He waits for the right price to buy, and he hold onto stock a long time. All...


California, Here We Come: New Fuel Standards

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Obama administration is expected to announce new national standards for car emissions and mileage today. The standards are expected to be comparable to the standards California so...

Comments [6]

Ending the War On Drugs

Friday, May 15, 2009

President Nixon coined the term "war on drugs" in 1969, and began fighting the problem of drug use with arrests and prison time. Since then every administration has more or less done ...

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New H1N1 Warnings For Pregnant Women

Thursday, May 14, 2009

H1N1, commonly known as “swine flu," has now been found in 45 states in the U.S., with over 3,300 confirmed cases across the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ann...


Secret Intel: Pakistan's New Era in Drone Warfare

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The LA Times reported this week that the U.S. and Pakistan are beginning a new joint operation that allows Pakistan to get substantial control over U.S. drone targets, flight routes, ...