Leslie Hurtado

Northern Public Radio - WNIJ

Reporter Profile

Leslie Hurtado reports on clean air, water, and agricultural systems in northern Illinois at Northern Public Radio-WNIJ. She is an award-winning journalist who contributed regularly to Cicero Independiente. Her journalism career includes reporting for WBEZ Chicago, City Bureau, WTTW Chicago, Borderless Magazine and Telemundo Chicago. Her work in 2022 covering Pilsen’s art history for WBEZ’s Curious City earned her a regional Edward Murrow award and a Peter Lisagor award nomination. Her impactful stories include addressing neglect toward Spanish-speaking COVID-19 patients for Cicero Independiente to exploring environmental racism in Little Village for City Bureau. Hurtado’s collaborative investigations into traffic stop disparities with Chicago Reporter alumni and WBEZ have contributed to state-level efforts to address racial disparities. When Leslie is not reporting, she loves exploring the perfume section for new scents or enjoying a good scare from horror movies, always with her husband, who also loves doing both.

Beat: Clean air, water, and agricultural systems in northern Illinois

This reporter focuses on access and policy related to clean air, water and agricultural systems for northern Illinois residents. This includes storytelling that gives voice traditionally underserved communities and the impact of climate change on local communities. The beat is a solutions driven approach to reporting related to efforts to improve the quality of rivers and groundwater, policies and processes in agricultural practices and food systems, and overall access to healthy living.