Zwerdling is most known for his work while at National Public Radio. From 1993 to 1999, he was senior host of NPR's Weekend All Things Considered. From 1999 to 2002, he was an investigative reporter for RadioWorks, NPR News. His layoff in 2002 provoked controversy among the NPR staff as the organization's decision to remove an investigative journalism line was seen as conflicting with NPR's mission. From 2002 to 2004, he was NPR's television correspondent on Now on PBS with Bill Moyers.
Some of his notable reports include investigative reports about the military's treatment of soldiers who have experienced trauma, the impact of fast food restaurants on animal rights, and the harmful substances in tobacco products. In 2006 and 2007, he reported that officers at Fort Carson were punishing soldiers, returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan with post traumatic stress disorder and other serious mental health problems.
- 2010 George Polk Award for the radio report "Brain Wars" (shared with ProPublica investigative reporter T. Christian Miller and NRP journalist Susanne Reber)
- 2008 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University Award
- 2007 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award
- Edward R. Murrow Award
- Investigative Reporters and Editors award in 2004 for "Abuse of Immigrant Detainees"
- Overseas Press Club Foundation award for live coverage of breaking international news
- American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award
- National Press Club Award for consumer reporting
- Ohio State awards for international reporting
- James Beard Foundation Award for a June 2002 report on the fast food industry, "McDonalds New Farm: Fast Food and Animal Rights" (radio long form category) and previously for a 1999 story in radio short category
- George Foster Peabody Award presented in 1995 for an NPR team report about the tobacco industry's use of dangerous chemical substances
- Champion-Tuck Award for economic reporting.
- World Hunger Media Awards
- Workplace Democracy (Harper & Row, 1980)
- Shen, Fern (1999-01-20). "2 Silver Spring Teens Die in Midwest Crash; Honor Students Had Become Friends After Meeting at U-Mich. Dormitory". Washington Post.
- "Famous Alumni". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- https://web.archive.org/web/20070701092517/http://www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/anniversary/Participants/Zwerdling.htm. Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved May 24, 2010. Missing or empty
- "Daniel Zwerdling". NPR. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- Janssen, Mike (2002-10-21). "Layoff prompts NPR journalists' protest, 2002". Current.org. Archived from the original on 2012-03-06. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- "Daniel Zwerdling - FORA.tv Speaker". FORA.tv. 2008-04-26. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- "Daniel Zwerdling | The New York Review of Books". Nybooks.com. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- McFadden, Robert D. (2011-02-22). "Exposes on Oil Spill in Gulf, Afghanistan and Steroids Win Polk Awards". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- "Columbia News ::: Program Descriptions of 2008 duPont Winners". Columbia.edu. 2007-12-17. Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- Hinckley, David (2005-04-09). "Jazzing it up at Birdland". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2013-02-13.
- Sietsema, Tom (2003-05-07). "A James Beard Award For Jose Andres". Washington Post.
- "James Beard awards". The Gazette (Montreal). 2000-05-20.
- Flynn, Kitson (1995-04-10). "Radio Waves". Washington Post.
- "World Hunger Prizes Given". New York Times. 1985-11-27.
- "Daniel Zwerdling: The greatest question in journalism ", Stabile Center and the Columbia chapter of SPJ
- "'On Location' with NPR is treat for InvestigateWest Editor", Investigate West, Rita Hibbard, 05/07/2010
- "The Crisis in News: Broadcasting Panel", University of California: Berkeley
- "McDonald's New Farm: Fast Food and Animal Rights" (American RadioWorks)