Published June 29, 2012
On the day after this paper hits the streets, Iceland’s presidential race will be over. Incumbent Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson may now be the longest sitting president in the history of the Republic—or we may now have a fresh face in office the first time in sixteen years.
As much fun as it has been to follow stories about candidates and their religious beliefs (which may or may not have changed over the years), as much fun as it has been to gape over outlandish and racist comments (which may or may not have been taken out of context), and as much as it’s been fun to keep tabs on the fact that one candidate spoke for 12 minutes in a debate while another spoke for 14, it will also be nice to think about something else.
It makes you wonder what the media would have been focusing on had a media event like this one not been occupying it. Surely there would have been something interesting to talk about. It also makes you wonder, ‘What did we miss? What went unnoticed? What about China? What about our dwindling puffin population? What about the European Union? What about factory farming? What about all those people the Special Prosecutor has been investigating for two years? What about Magma Energy? Whatever happened to them after they changed their name to Alterra something?’
Who knows… While the Icelandic media seems to have a lot of freedom, maybe it’s not using it so much. Maybe the media is too conformist, writing about the same stories, and about each other’s stories. Meanwhile maybe we’re missing something that’s right under our noses.
For instance, IMMI turned two this month. In case you’ve forgotten all about it, as we haven’t been reporting on it much since it made its splash two years ago, IMMI is the International Modern Media Institute, formerly the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which is supposed to be making Iceland a media safe haven, but hasn’t really done much…(yet). You can read all about that on page 18. Now we’d like to direct your attention to Greenland. We went there a few months ago and we thought it was pretty cool. You can read about our trip on page 22. Or at least check out the photos.
And then you should of course go there, while it’s still cool. That is, if you promise to keep it a secret, because when we were there, in Ittoqqortoormiit—a town in East-Greenland that’s only accessible to ships two months of the year—it struck us that perhaps Greenland is now Iceland when Iceland was Greenland. This is probably okay, that is until Greenland turns into Iceland.