The Local has 7,000 reasons to celebrate the first anniversary of Membership

This time last year we asked readers to support us by becoming Members. This marked a new adventure for us and we are thrilled that 7,000 of you have joined us on the ride.

The Local has 7,000 reasons to celebrate the first anniversary of Membership
The Local Germany's deputy editor Rachel Loxton (l) and country editor Rachel Stern.

We really had little idea what to expect when we made our first articles available to Members on our Sweden site last November. We were determined to develop a closer relationship with readers to forge the future together, but would anybody really be willing to pay for something they’d been getting for free since 2004?

We asked you what you would like to see more of, we dedicated more resources to our journalism, we held our breath and… you started joining.

I’m not going to lie, it was a massive relief. We’re a small independent news organization surrounded by giants in a turbulent media landscape. Facebook and Google have gobbled up vast portions of the industry’s ad revenues; we really needed our readers to back us. And you did, in greater numbers than we had anticipated, and for that we are immensely grateful. But this is just the beginning, and we still need all the support we can get. If you haven't yet signed up, you can do so here and qualify for a discount.

Reassured by our first attempt, we rolled out Membership in Germany and France in the spring, followed by Spain and Italy this autumn. The result was the same: readers showed a (very welcome) willingness to pay.

For me the most positive aspect has been the development of a more collaborative approach to our journalism. Readers are much more visible on our sites than a year ago. We ask Members for tips on everything from citizenship applications to the best supermarkets, we offer advice on things like buying a home or getting a pension, and we are on the side of internationals in increasingly nationalist times.

In case you missed them, here are some of the articles that have prompted most readers to join us as Members in Germany:

Earlier this month we were happy to see our work recognized as we won two awards in two days, one each for our editorial and commercial teams. It’s no accident that the awards coincided with our Membership programme. Getting to know our readers better has improved our sites immeasurably.

Many thanks for your support,

Paul O’Mahony
Managing editor
The Local Europe

Not yet a Member? Support our independent journalism and qualify for an introductory offer.




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What The Local’s new design means for you

You may have noticed that The Local looks quite different today. Here’s how our new design makes it easier to get around the site.

What The Local’s new design means for you

After several years with the same design we decided last year that it was high time to give the site a makeover. For one thing we wanted it to look nicer, but most importantly the new design is aimed at making it quicker and easier for you to find what you need without hassle.

You will notice, for example, that the site has a new menu bar that will direct you to the most popular categories. The example below is taken from our France edition but you will find variations on the same menu items on all our country sites. 

You won’t be surprised to learn that we are hoping to retire the Covid-19 category as soon as possible. 

On the desktop version of the site, if you hover your mouse over a category title you will find some of the most important related topics. 

If you click on one of the main categories in the menu bar you will find links to what are currently the most popular related topics. 

On the homepage, each article’s main topic will be displayed above the headline so you can quickly click or tap your way to more articles on that subject. 

You will also find more topics at the bottom of every page that will take you to related articles. 

One significant change is the introduction of a feature that will automatically load up a new article for you once you have got to bottom of the page.

Similarly, articles (like this one) that are not affected by the paywall will show an unlocked padlock. 

If you want to search for a particular topic the search tool is prominently displayed at the top left of the desktop and mobile sites. On desktop it’s just under the dropdown menu you can use to switch editions. 

As a members of The Local you will be able to quickly access your account details and update your newsletter preferences using the buttons in the top right. 

If you are not yet a member you can cast your eyes to the top of the site to see offers that are such good value you will wonder what you’re waiting for. Now really is as good a time as any to join. 

READ ALSO: How The Local’s members are helping us get better

We have also worked hard on significantly speeding up the site, which we hope will make your visits to The Local more enjoyable. 

You are sure to notice plenty of other changes as you get familiar with the new design. But one thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to producing independent journalism that leans heavily on dialogue with our readers. 

With this in mind, we would love to hear from you if you have any feedback on the new design or suggestions for improvements. You can drop us a line at [email protected] or, if you are a member, you will as always be able to let us know what you think in the comments below the article. 

Thanks for reading, and we hope you like the new look!