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Oden alum recognized for work with statewide paper

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Ginny Monk is pictured with fellow Arkansas Democrat-Gazette journalist John Moritz with their 1st Place award in the investigative category for thier article (Violent Reality) coauthored with Ryan Tarinelli (Not Pictured). - Submitted Photo

DEWAYNE HOLLOWAY
montcnews2@windstream.net
LITTLE ROCK – Montgomery County native Ginny Monk walked away from the annual Arkansas Society of Professional Journalists ceremony with two first place awards for investigative journalism. Monk works with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Monk originally worked as a reporter for the Style section at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette when first hired. She admits that although she enjoyed the beat, she had always wanted to pursue investigations. She took advantage of opportunities as they arose in the Style section and quickly worked her way onto the investigations team after a few months. Currently she is working as a vital part of the projects team.
As a part of the projects team she mostly works on longer-term investigations and narrative writing. Most of her daily coverage is focused on housing and homelessness.
Monk won first place in the daily papers feature category with her article, “Girl’s mutation a rarity in world”
One of the judges noted, “Excellent job in telling a story that can be difficult in discussing DNA and decoding it to find out the mysteries behind disabilities. The details show where this little girl is instead of just telling us the facts.”
Monk and fellow Arkansas Democrat-Gazette journalists John Moritz and Ryan Tarinelli shared the first place award in the daily papers investigative reporting category with an article entitled, “Violent reality.”
The group effort illustrates how a story can encompass several areas of interest. John Moritz covers the state capitol and Ryan Tarinelli covers the Little Rock Police Department while Monk works on the projects team. The trio pooled their talents and resources to cover the problem of violence in the city of Little Rock and the state.
She stated that winning awards is an honor. “I’m always humbled and grateful that people choose to share their stories with me.”She stated
Sonny Albarado, Projects Editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and former SPJ national president, said of Monk, “ Ginny possesses a deep love of telling stories with a level of inquisitiveness, persistence and compassion that allow her to share the stories she uncovers in a manner that connects with readers. 
Whether she’s writing about children with rare genetic mutations or holding public officials accountable, Ginny shows a deep curiosity about and sensitivity for people, especially people who dwell at the edges of our awareness.
She is a pleasure to edit and a writer who will continue to amaze and educate readers.”
When asked about working at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Monk stated, “I love working at the Democrat-Gazette – a paper I grew up reading. It’s a truly special thing to get to write about issues that matter to people in your home state.”
The awards were presented June 25 at Little Rock’s Flying Saucer and honor work published or broadcast between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018.
The awards recognize outstanding journalism by professionals and students from Arkansas and bordering states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.
This year’s competition included 162 entries judged by members of the East Tennessee Pro Chapter of SPJ, none of whom competed in the 2019 Diamond Journalism Awards.