Emma Schwartz

Producer & Reporter

Emma Schwartz is an award-winning producer and reporter. Since 2012, she’s worked on a dozen FRONTLINE films, delving into a wide range of topics from affordable housing to antibiotic resistance to disaster recovery. Based out of American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop, her recent films include Plastic Wars, which uncovered the industry’s decades long campaign to promote recycling as a way to sell more plastic; Blackout in Puerto Rico, which traced the troubled disaster recovery after Maria; Trump’s Trade War, which looked at the changing relationship between the U.S. and China; and Big Sky, Big Money, which examined the growing influence of dark money in political campaigns.

Schwartz began her career in print journalism focusing on legal affairs at Legal Times and later at U.S. News & World Report. She moved into video and television in 2008 as part of the investigative unit at ABC News and then as a video producer at the Center for Public Integrity, where she was part of a team that documented the little known impacts of toxic air pollution in communities across the country.

Her work has won a number of awards including a News & Documentary Emmy for investigative journalism, the Gerald Loeb award, the Overseas Press Club Morton Frank award and an Investigative Reporters & Editors award.

Schwartz has served as an adjunct journalism lecturer at the University of Maryland and was a recipient of fellowships from the Journalist Law School at Loyola Marymount University and the FAU Scripps Howard Institute on the Environment. She holds a bachelors’ degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Languages Spoken:



Washington D.C.

Areas of Expertise:

Business & Economy, Health & Science, Climate & Environment, U.S. Politics, Social Issues

3915_healthcare divide
The Healthcare Divide
FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the growing inequities in American healthcare exposed by COVID-19.
May 18, 2021
plastic wars
Plastic Wars
FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the fight over the future of plastics.
March 31, 2020
FEMA Tarp Contractor Under Investigation for Fraud
The owners of a company contracted by FEMA to bring hundreds of thousands of tarps to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria are under federal investigation for fraud.
June 14, 2019
Trump's Trade War
Trump's Trade War
The inside story of President Trump’s gamble to confront China over trade.
May 7, 2019
Report Warns of Fraud Risks in Low Income Housing Program
An $8 billion dollar taxpayer program meant to help house the poor needs better oversight, a new watchdog report warns.
September 19, 2018
Hurricane Maria’s New Death Toll Estimate Is Higher than Katrina's
A new report finds the government of Puerto Rico severely underestimated the number of deaths from Hurricane Maria.
August 28, 2018
El huracán María dejo un numero incierto de muertes en Puerto Rico
Casi un año después de que el huracán María devastó Puerto Rico, aún no está claro cuántas vidas se perdieron en el huracán.
July 17, 2018
FEMA Report Acknowledges Failures in Puerto Rico Disaster Response
FEMA acknowledged for the first time it failed to properly prepare for last year’s hurricane season.
July 13, 2018
Congress Ends Puerto Rican Banking Loophole
The provision was tucked into a broader bill that rolled back key banking reforms.
May 23, 2018
After Maria, Thousands on Puerto Rico Waited Months for a Plastic Roof
For 25 years, the Army Corps of Engineers has installed temporary roofs on storm victims’ homes after disasters, part of a key emergency response program called “Operation: Blue Roof.” But in the wake of Hurricane Maria, that system broke down.
May 2, 2018
U.S. and Puerto Rico flags hang on a damaged church after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria in Carolina
Blackout in Puerto Rico
FRONTLINE and NPR investigate the humanitarian and economic crisis in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
May 1, 2018