Ken Armstrong joins The Marshall Project

Armstrong. Photo by Steve Ringman (The Seattle Times)

Ken Armstrong, an investigative reporter for The Seattle Times, will join the staff of The Marshall Project in the coming weeks, Marshall Project editor-in-chief Bill Keller confirmed Tuesday.

Armstrong, who has worked at The Seattle Times for about 11 years, said he made the move partly because The Marshall Project will give him an opportunity to tell stories in a variety of different ways. He’s already pitched stories for radio, magazine stories and “classic long-term investigations,” he said.

Armstrong began talking with Keller about the possibility of working full-time for The Marshall Project after submitting a freelance pitch for the site in March, Keller said. He assigned the pitch, and Armstrong followed up with a list of stories he’d like to cover.

Although The Marshall Project is based in New York City, Armstrong will remain in Seattle and take trips to visit the staff in New York, Keller said. That will give Armstrong a chance to stay in touch with his current coworkers: “I’ll be desperately lonely in three months and I’ll be calling them for lunch and hoping that they say yes,” he said.

Armstrong is the sixth staff writer hired to work at the nonprofit journalism startup dedicated to covering the criminal justice system, Keller said. He hopes to add two more reporters and grow the total staff to about 20 before the project launches in the fall.

Armstrong and his colleague Michael Berens won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for “Methadone and the Politics of Pain,” a three-part series that examined the impact of the painkiller methadone on Washington’s poorer residents, according to his website. He also shared the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting, which was awarded to the staff of The Seattle Times for its coverage of the slaying of four Lakewood police officers.

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