Those who know Arek Sarkissian II would have to call him a reporter’s reporter, a shoe leather kind of guy who knows how cops and city governments work, makes his deadlines, and beats the competition.
Government reporter for the Tallahassee Democrat since 2012, Arek has covered city and county governments and the Florida Legislature. He has written frequently on state worker-related issues and was named Gannett employee of the month for his coverage of the Florida Retirement System. He also traveled with and covered Gov. Rick Scott’s trade mission to Bogota, Colombia.
Before Tallahassee, Arek covered city government for The Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press, banging out 1A centerpiece stories developed from public records requests as well as a month-long series on homemade meth and how it destroyed the community. Arek represented the Courier & Press at a journalism summit held in Ankara, Turkey and Yerevan, Armenia after hosting an Armenian journalist in Evansville.
Arek was a public safety and courts reporter for the Bluffton (S.C.) Today and sister paper Savannah Morning News from 2007-2011 and covered all the emergency agencies in the Savannah metro area. Arek broke a story on an autistic teen who was beaten by police officers, leading to resignations including the chief. In 2010 he won first place for investigative reporting from the Georgia Press Association and another first place for spot news photo.
Arek was awarded a Poynter Institute Fellowship for Young Journalists in 2007, and also worked as a page designer and reporter for the Tucson Weekly from 2004-2007. The love of his life is his 9-year-old daughter, Samantha.