Nieman News

Ken Armstrong, NF ’01, and Michael J. Berens of The Seattle Times have won the 2012 Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, for their three-part series “Methadone and the Politics of Pain.” The award is presented annually by the School of Journalism at USC Annenberg. Selden Ring Award judges commended the reporters for their “thorough and groundbreaking reporting on how more than 2,000 people in Washington state have fatally overdosed on the painkiller methadone. ‘Methadone and the Politics of Pain’ showed how the state steered Medicaid patients toward methadone despite repeated warnings about its risks. The drug saved the state money because it is a cheap painkiller, but poor patients paid for the savings with their lives.”

Berens won the 2010 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism, presented by the Nieman Foundation, for his series “Seniors for Sale: Exploiting the aged and frail in Washington’s adult family homes” Armstrong won the Bingham Prize in 2001 as part of a team at the Chicago Tribune for “Cops and Confessions” and received honorable mention in 2008 for his Seattle Times series with Nick Perry “Victory and Ruins.”

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