Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication’s Professional Achievement Award
Colleen Bradford Krantz, owner of Pink Spear Productions, is the recipient of the 2023 Greenlee Professional Achievement Award, which recognizes a mid-career Greenlee School graduate who has demonstrated leadership, impact and achievement in advertising, journalism and mass communication and/or public relations.
Krantz is a television and film producer, screenwriter, author and journalist. She directed and co-produced the independent documentary “West by Orphan Train,” which won a 2015 regional Emmy, a Leadership in History Award and a Clarion Award. It was released via Amazon Prime. Krantz also wrote and co-produced a limited series, called “Unintended; Unlocking a Nation’s Pregnancy Secrets,” as well as another documentary, “Train to Nowhere; Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation,” which was licensed to Netflix. Her book of the same name was the starting point for the film and a finalist in “Best Books 2011” contest by USA Book News.
Before becoming an author and filmmaker, Krantz spent a decade as a newspaper reporter, working at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Des Moines Register. Her newspaper beats over the years included everything from police and courts to education and local government to investigative and general assignment. She also created the app and website, News Tutor, which, although no longer active, was used by hundreds of teachers who wanted their students to be more savvy news consumers. She was invited to speak about the app and media literacy at an annual conference for the National Council for the Social Studies.
“I have been recognized with some very kind honors in the early stages of my career, but I especially love this mid-career award from Iowa State’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication because it comes from the place that was so key to reinforcing and building upon the enthusiasm I had when I arrived as a new student there,” Krantz said. “I came in energetically but with unpolished skills. I left fully prepared to conduct solid research, to interview others with sincere curiosity, and to write compelling, fair and accurate stories. I’m grateful for both those past gifts and this generous recognition now.”