Ken Armstrong is a reporter at ProPublica. In 2021, he reported with Meribah Knight on a Tennessee county where hundreds of children were illegally jailed. In 2018, his reporting with Christian Sheckler on the criminal justice system in Elkhart, Indiana, led to the police chief’s resignation.
Previously, at The Marshall Project, Armstrong partnered with ProPublica’s T. Christian Miller on a story about a woman who was charged with lying about being raped. That story won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting and became a “This American Life” episode, a book and an eight-part Netflix series, “Unbelievable.” The radio episode and Netflix series both won Peabody Awards.
At The Seattle Times, Armstrong won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for a series with Michael Berens that showed how the state of Washington steered Medicaid patients to a cheap but unpredictable painkiller linked to more than 2,000 deaths. He also shared in two staff Pulitzers for breaking news: in 2015, for coverage of a landslide that killed 43 people; and in 2010, for coverage of the shooting deaths of four police officers.
Armstrong’s work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Yorker and The Paris Review. At the Chicago Tribune, his reporting with Steve Mills helped prompt the Illinois governor to suspend executions and empty death row.
In 2009, Armstrong received the John Chancellor Award from Columbia University for lifetime achievement. His book with Nick Perry, “Scoreboard, Baby: A Story of College Football, Crime, and Complicity,” won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for nonfiction. Armstrong, a graduate of Purdue University, has been a Nieman fellow at Harvard and the McGraw professor of writing at Princeton.