María Inés Zamudio is an award-winning investigative journalist. Prior to joining CPI, Zamudio was a radio reporter covering racial inequalities for WBEZ, the Chicago NPR station. Her coverage of the city’s water affordability crisis led to a moratorium on water shutoffs, the creation of a city-wide program to help low-income homeowners, and a state-funded $42 million water emergency assistance program for homeowners who can’t afford their water and sewer bills.
Zamudio has spent the last decade investigating racial inequalities and the policies behind them. Her coverage has received multiple awards, including the National Press Foundation’s Poverty and Inequality award, and multiple regional Edward R. Murrow Awards. In 2019, she was named the best radio reporter at the Peter Lisagor Awards held by the Chicago chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. And in 2022, her body of work and her commitment ensuring her reporting is accessible to the affected communities was recognized with the Studs Terkel Award, which recognizes excellent coverage of Chicago's diverse communities.
Earlier in her career, Zamudio and a team of reporters from NPR’s Latino USA received a Peabody National Award for their coverage of Central American migrants. Zamudio’s story was reported from the Mexico-Guatemala border and it focused on the danger women Central American women face while traveling through Mexico as they try to reach the United States.
Zamudio, who lives in Chicago, has also led efforts to increase the number of journalists of color in the industry. In 2020, Zamudio co-created a first-of-its-kind FOIA mentorship program to support Chicago journalists of color working on projects with public records.