Yesterday a Kenyan-born American friend (not Barack Obama) texted me stating, “I have been following what’s going on in Armenia – what the heck is going on?”

Image: Levon Ter-Petrossian Post-Election Women’s Protest March, Yerevan © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008 

I haven’t texted my friend back because I haven’t figured out myself what the heck is going on in Armenia. The protests against the official election results continue – and although it is nice to see people challenging the establishment – those very “challengers” are the founding fathers of corruption and crook-like politics in modern Armenia that is not much different from how the current authorities work.

One thing, nonetheless, that can’t be disputed is the people’s strive for change in Armenia. It is not merely about economy and poverty, as most observers and insiders suggest, but also about the treatment that people receive from the government and the way they are told to perceive the treatment by the government-controlled media.

One thing, for sure, that has pissed many people off is the unfair mainstream media coverage of former president Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s campaign. Needless to say, when Ter-Petrosyan was in power the media did the same against his opponents.

Interestingly, I got to meet the person in charge of Armenia’s public TV’s news department last year and I asked him what was his line of separation between state v. authorities in the context of his recent statement (in an interview to Menq Magazine) that “I will do nothing that would shake the foundations of the state.” Although it was obvious that he didn’t think I was an idiot, his answer was for a complete idiot in which he was trying to explain to me what “state” and “authorities” meant. This demonstrates the mindset of Armenia’s media in dealing with the audience they are talking to.