Most of Marilyn Greenwald’s work focuses on the study of women in the media – the history and women’s current status in the broadcasting and print media. She also has an interest in the status of investigative reporting in this country. Her work tends to focus on the era and media environment surrounding working female media professionals.
Grrenwald focused on women’s roles in the media because “the only exposure many people have of female journalists comes from high-profile correspondents like Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, and many others who earn much money, have large staffs of their own, and are assigned to ‘big’ stories. Most women in journalism toil in obscurity, earn less than men, and often don’t get the key assignments that men get. So, there is generally a misunderstanding by many people of the role women play in the media.
“Despite the strides women have made over the decades in newsrooms — they now make up more than half of the reporters and editors in many newsrooms — few women work as top executives in media companies,” Greenwald said. “In addition, the focus on appearance in broadcasting is actually intensifying rather than diminishing for women. So the status of women in the media has not necessarily progressed with the times.”
Greenwald’s research also focuses on investigative reporting. One of her major findings was that the amount of investigative reporting being done in America has declined. “Investigative reporting used to be done primarily in metropolitan newspapers, but now it is frequently done by broadcasters, documentary makers and investigative web sites,” Greenwald said. “Also, the targets of investigative reporting and audience interest in it has changed over the years. All of this is in part a result of the changing media landscape in this country — the decline of newspapers and a focus on ‘infotainment.’”
Before coming to Ohio University, Greenwald spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter. She is the author of Pauline Frederick Reporting: A Pioneering Broadcaster Covers the Cold War (Potomac Books, 2015), Cleveland Amory: Media Curmudgeon and Animal Rights Crusader (UPNE, 2009), Secret Of the Hardy Boys: Leslie McFarlane & the Stratemeyer Syndicate (Ohio University Press, 2004), The Big Chill: Investigative Reporting in the Current Media Environment (Wiley Blackwell, 2000), and A Woman of the Times: Journalism, Feminism, and the Career of Charlotte Curtis (Ohio University Press, 1999).
Marilyn Greenwald has appeared in the news media numerous times, including appearances on the “Anne Fisher Show,” WOUB radio, and “ The Leonard Lopate Show ” on WNYC.