After an incredibly amazing experience in Iceland and covering cultural issues and musicians, it’s time for a wrap. Our class’ hard work can be heard in our full Iceland Airwaves 2017 radio documentary. In case you missed it air on WCRX-FM, listen below and hear all about our adventures in the northern island we fell in love with in just a week.
We arrived in Iceland just after the country’s recent elections, which affected virtually every story we worked on. They were central to understanding cultural issues and getting a grasp on the political history of the country. You will see its influence in the following stories in the documentary (listed here in chronological order):
Recently in America, the healthcare system has been under debate. After former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, 20 million more Americans now have healthcare who previously lacked it. But, for some, the financial loss of an estimated $2 billion for private healthcare companies outweighs the benefits.
The effects of climate change are not only taking part within America it is slowly making its way to the northern hemisphere and taking effect in Iceland. Breiðamerkurjökull is a famous glacier that consists of natural mesmerizing features which has tourists visiting all over the world and as each year passes the glacier is threatened by the rising temperatures. Due to all the natural disasters occurring in the world it is crucial that countries create a plan to moderate and create a sense of stability for the earth’s environment. Many have done so by choosing to follow the Paris Agreement act while others have opposed it. Iceland, however, has not only taken initiative in complying with the Agreement, but has acted in helping prolong the melting of their glaciers by making safe, environmentally friendly changes.
Over the course of the last 40-plus years, Iceland’s recycling and waste management system has drastically changed. Since open-pit burning was the country’s main source of waste disposal, Iceland’s goal to decrease the amount of waste produced is becoming more and more true. With various projects to diminish waste, companies like SORPA and the Environment Agency of Iceland are focusing on waste prevention methods as well as keeping the community aware of how to better the waste management system.
You often hear that Scandinavian countries like Iceland have a strong reputation for women’s rights. Closing the gender gap, or giving new parents generous maternity leave. But Iceland sees many cases of domestic violence towards women, despite its increased equality. This is called the “Nordic Paradox”; few resources exist to address the issue. The Center for Gender Equality Iceland found that by the age of 16, 42 percent of women had been abused and 22 percent had experienced it in close relationships. The numbers are not much different in the U.S. Nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner and women between 18 and 24 are most commonly abused in the states. Continue reading →
There are 22.5 million refugees currently world wide based off of the UNHCR statistics. Each country is handling the influx of people coming into their country in different ways. In the United States, the Supreme Court recently allowed the third version of Trump’s ban to go into effect. This bans seven countries into coming into the country, as well as caps the once 110,000 refugee limit in the U.S., to less than half at only 50,000. Iceland has a different situation, this small country has about 335,000 people and is able to take refugee situations case by case more often than other larger countries.
Hear grassroots refugee organization SOLARIS Founder Sema Erla, journalist Paul Fontaine from Reykjavik Grapevine, and Minister of Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Þorsteinn Víglundsson discuss how the Icelandic community reacts to one asylum seeker case.