But yesterday, when Medievärlden called to tell me The Local was nominated for their Digital Media of the Year prize, I was (to use a cricketing term) absolutely knocked for six, as were all my colleagues. Reader, I can assure you that in this case The Local certainly did not nominate itself.
Once we’d managed to stop ourselves running around screaming like momentarily deranged Beatles fans, our amazement was compounded when we found out that our co-nominees were DN.se (the website of Sweden’s largest quality daily Dagens Nyheter) and Dagen.se (the website of a well-known Christian newspaper).
To put it into context, Dagens Nyheter has a staff of 580 and Dagen has a staff of 60. The Local, on the other hand, has a full-time staff of just 11. That includes all editors, journalists, business developers, salespeople, IT developers and managers in Sweden AND Germany. Even when you add in our varied band of talented freelancers, we’re still nowhere near half the size of Dagen, let alone DN.
Not only are we smaller in many respects than our competitors – we are also much younger. We were founded in 2004; DN, by contrast, was founded in 1864; Dagen was founded in 1945 (although naturally their websites are rather younger than that). Yet despite being so young and having so few staff, we managed to reach 2.1 million unique visitors last month (of which 1.2 million were visiting the Swedish site).
It would, of course, be astonishing if we were to win the prize – the competition is tough, to say the least (I know I’m supposed to say this, but this time it just happens to be true).
But just getting nominated is a welcome pat on the back for us, and particularly for Paul O’Mahony, editor of thelocal.se, and our associate editor David Landes. They thoroughly deserve the recognition.
Moreover, the nomination is a nod to only to The Local, but also to our loyal readers – a new generation of diverse, mobile, internationally-minded people who want to get involved in the societies in which they live.
But perhaps the most important thing about this is that it will spur us on to keep improving what we do – and to continue developing our plans to take The Local to new places around Europe with renewed vigour.
Thanks for all your support!