From Iceland — 2016: The Year In News

2016: The Year In News

Published January 11, 2017

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Art Bicnick

We all had a nice year, right?

Even though there are plenty of people happy to see this year come to an end, not all the news of the past year was necessarily bad. Political upheaval was a dominant theme in Iceland, but what attracted readers from outside Iceland spanned a wide range. So join us on a magical journey through last year’s headlines.

Our most read stories

Our single most-read story of 2016 was “Prime Minister Resigns,” reporting on when Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson stepped down as Prime Minister last spring in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal and a disastrous, cringe-inducing interview he took with Swedish television. Similarly, the lead-up story, “PM Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson Wavers On Resignation,” was our third most-read story. But in terms of sheer staying power, staying at the top of the list for months on end, nothing beat “No, The Government Will Not Pay You To Marry An Icelander,” a brief news story meant solely to debunk a number of hoax articles circulating which contended that the Icelandic government was handing out cash to foreign men to marry Icelandic women due to a domestic male shortage. Following close behind that was “Iceland’s President Drops Not-So-Subtle Message For Trump,” in which President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson wished President-elect Donald Trump congratulations on his election by emphasising the importance of tolerance and human rights. After this was “Women In Iceland Leaving Work Today At 14:38,” which covered a grassroots movement by women in this country to leave work early in protest against the gender wage gap—always a hot-button topic.

On a related note, when it comes to what people are Googling that brings them to our site, no subject seems to be more popular than Icelandic women. Half of our top ten search terms were some variation or other of these two words. Grapevine isn’t a dating service. Spread the word.

News editor’s choice

There are some stories that, whether ranking high in terms of visits or not, were personal favourites of the editorial news department here. Amongst them was any story regarding asylum seekers. These stories have been met with mostly positive responses from our readers, especially those who live here, and most of our breaking news stories were about these people. “Why Does This Keep Happening?”, a lengthy, investigative story about the problems within the Directorate of Immigration, was also well received. We were also quite fond of any story involving protests and activism, of which there were many this year; in fact, the protests held at Parliament in the wake of the Panama Papers scandal were the largest in Icelandic history, with about 10% of the population showing up.

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