News
Iceland “Name Change” Misunderstanding Spreading

Iceland “Name Change” Misunderstanding Spreading

Published November 15, 2012

A factually inaccurate article about Iceland published by USA Today has appeared to have had a rippling effect through the international media.
As reported, last September a promotional campaign conducted by Promote Iceland through the Inspired By Iceland homepage asked tourists to come up with a new name for Iceland. While this caused a temporary stir in the Icelandic media that this might be a serious campaign, Promote Iceland was quick to emphasise that this was just a fun project.
Project managers have repeated stated – in the Icelandic-language media and in the Grapevine – that this was in no way an official campaign, but rather an amusing exercise to get tourists to think about what Iceland means to them. Nonetheless, USA Today published a factually inaccurate article contending that Iceland is officially seeking to change its name as a form of post-financial crash re-branding.
The article’s author, Halldór Bachmann, has maintained that USA Today changed his article to have the inaccurate implications that it now contains. Despite this article being thoroughly debunked, it still remains on the USA Today site without correction. It would now appear as though the article’s misconceptions are spreading.
While the Guardian has gotten it right in saying “Iceland’s tourism agency launched a lighthearted contest”, the Huffington Post heavily implies that the name-change campaign is an earnest effort, adding, “The government of the island nation, which weathered a financial collapse that led to the downfall of its leaders after a grassroots revolt, is under no obligation to change the country’s name. But if it does, there is plenty of precedent.”
Investor Place has managed to get it utterly wrong, saying that “the government of Iceland has decided that rebranding the island nation might be in order”. The Dakotas-based Wadena Pioneer Journal has made the same contention.
All of these articles cite the initial USA Today article for their reporting.
How long it will take for USA Today to get around to issuing a correction – despite multiple comments from many Icelanders left under their initial, unchanged and inaccurate article – remains to be seen.



News
“My  Life, My Death, My Choice” – A Reader Responds To Possible Assisted Suicide Legislation In Iceland

“My Life, My Death, My Choice” – A Reader Responds To Possible Assisted Suicide Legislation In Iceland

by

An Australian man who had to help his suffering wife pass away peacefully, and is now facing the prospect of

News
Greenland Trawler Returning To Iceland In Connection With Missing Person Case

Greenland Trawler Returning To Iceland In Connection With Missing Person Case

by

While police say no one is under suspicion of criminal activity in the case of a young Icelandic woman who

News
National Church Continues To Shrink In Membership

National Church Continues To Shrink In Membership

by

New figures from the National Registry show that Iceland’s national church is still losing more members than it is gaining,

News
“Warm Beach” To Open In East Iceland

“Warm Beach” To Open In East Iceland

by

In just a couple years’ time, Nauthólsvík will no longer be the only warm-water beach in Iceland. RÚV reports that

News
Search For Missing Woman Yields Disturbing Clues

Search For Missing Woman Yields Disturbing Clues

by

Surveillance footage recovered from Laugavegur on the night Birna Brjáns­dótt­ir disappeared, in addition to police finding what might be her

News
Tourist Information Centre Opens in City Hall

Tourist Information Centre Opens in City Hall

by

The Reykjavík Tourist Information Centre has opened at City Hall today, moving from its previous location at Aðalstræti 2. In

Show Me More!