The Everyday Beauty of Unedited Desks

Gayane Asryan


Work desks are a space for not only work, but also personal comfort.

And if the desks’ owners are heads of newsrooms, then studying the contents of their desks is very interesting. A desk is more than just a piece of furniture.

Karen Harutyunyan, CivilNet

I personally clean my desk and leave notes for things to do the next day. As in the newsroom, so too on my desk I place importance on neatness — it’s part of my nature.

There’s nothing excessive on my desk. For example, I have a statuette that is a gift from Russian journalists who were fascinated by the Armenian media. The green bottle is not decoration at all; it happens sometimes that during the day I drink a weak alcoholic beverage, to raise my spirits. I cherish the only plant on the table with love, the so-called money tree. I may forget many things, but watering my tree, never.

The transistor radio is an obligatory and dear item on my desk. I begin my mornings by listening to the radio; I prefer Azatutyun Radio (RFE/RL’s Armenian service). There are some books of fiction, but they’re for evening reading; during the day I am satisfied by the material in magazines and on websites.

I would very much like to deal only with content issues, but more often there are organizational issues that I must quickly respond to and find solutions. I feel responsibility for my team’s unobstructed work; it happens that a tire goes flat in the region, and the concern of addressing the problem falls to me.

Anna Israyelyan, Aravot.am

Above my work desk is my spiritual leader Robert Plant’s portrait; it’s my ex-husband’s work. It’s true, my desk is not wide, but it’s capacious — the drawers are filled to the brim. In the newsroom they know they can find any necessary item or material with me: pens, medication, food, various device chargers, business cards for taxis.

Leaflets of my colleagues’ protest actions evoke warm and pleasant memories; they have their permanent place on my desk. Here it’s written “Anna Keghekovna [cattle],” “Anna Jardoghovna [wreckage],” “Anna, go away!” and so on.

To be honest, I would very much like to have a spacious desk because here you see only one part of the iceberg. Mainly the load is on the bottom, in the drawers. The reason is that I have a hard time refusing items, I’ve kept and keep many materials that help me in my professional work. I clean up in the evening before going home; I don’t like seeing excessive items on my desk.

Edik Baghdasaryan, Hetq

You won’t find personal items on my desk; there are only papers — various articles, notices, notebooks. I haven’t tried to organize my desk because I can easily find any item. I put only the completed work aside and keep in the archive.

I don’t keep important information in the computer. Paper, in my opinion, is the most reliable option for information storage. Though I have a good memory and can reproduce a one-hour talk, I always note first and last names and other details.

Of my personal belongings here you can see only the collection of rocks brought from various places in Armenia. There are rocks also in the car. I like to look at diverse rocks.

The cleaner knows that she should not clean or organize my desk; if there’s the need for it, I do it personally.

Davit Alaverdyan, Mediamax

A mug full of coffee is always by my side. What’s important here is not the coffee but the mug, which has its special key. I also have a talisman statuette, my friend brought it as a gift from Tanzania; it is like Mediamax’s logo, and it has been a beloved item of mine for 12 years now.

Having a special place on my desk is a rock that I brought from the place on Mount Ararat where the layer of snow begins.

An important work tool is the device through which I watch different TV channels, record some parts if necessary and provide to the journalists to prepare stories. My work desk is comfortable and dear, and I don’t need a new one.


Here are the day’s papers, numerous notebooks and pens. Many are the information storage media: memory devices, discs. Also the logbook of my students’ master group.

Satik Seyranyan, 168 Zham

There were recent renovations here. The huge piles of papers are still on the floor; they haven’t found a place on the desk. I can’t work long on my computer at home; my work becomes productive only at the office.

I have a big archive here; from working at Aravot for years, I’ve kept the recordings of interviews with Vano Siradeghan, Hrant Matevosyan, and Khoren Abrahamyan. What’s important for me is not the topic, but the approach of referring to the interview again.

I keep with care also the documents connected to already published stories, the long letters received from citizens and penitentiary institutions.

An important place on my desk is allocated to my son’s photograph. An obligatory item is the calendar, which reminds m of important arrangements.

On my desk now are many greeting cards, since the holidays are approaching. It’s interesting to see how officials sign [their cards]. I think enormous amounts of money should not be spent on cards, and the same wishes can be sent also electronically.

Gayane Asryan
Photos by Gagik Aghbalyan

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