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Ten excellent reasons to become a Member of The Local

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Ten excellent reasons to become a Member of The Local
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
15:53 CEST+02:00
After 14 years of being completely free, we are asking loyal readers of The Local to become paying Members. But why are we doing this? In the time-honoured tradition of The Local, co-founder James Savage gives ten reasons.
1. Because good journalism needs resources
 
You might have noticed that The Local is not the only publication asking for readers to become Members, or to buy online subscriptions. Publications from the New York Times to small local newspapers in Sweden are asking their readers to pay because employing journalists and all the other staff it takes to run a paper or news website is expensive. We only ever employ professional, bilingual journalists, who understand Sweden well – and naturally we pay them competitive salaries.
 
2. Because you'll help the world get a fair picture of Sweden
 
By helping The Local maintain and expand its journalism, you will also have an impact on the way Sweden is perceived internationally. 
 
We know from experience that what we write in The Local influences the perception of Sweden in media around the world. 
 
Donald Trump caused bafflement last year when he appeared to claim that something terrible had happened 'last night in Sweden'. Nothing in particular had happened, but it naturally made some Americans wonder why Sweden was so troubled. It was one in a long list of incidents in which foreign media and politicians have taken events in Sweden out of context and twisted the truth about this country. 
 
A man with a Donald Trump mask holds a paper reading ' Cuba first, Germany second, Sweden third, USA 69.' The picture was taken at a carnival in Cologne, Germany last year. Photo: Martin Meissner/AP/TT.
 
At The Local, we pride ourselves in giving a fair and accurate image of Sweden – neither sugar coated nor alarmist, just a fair account of what's happening here written by people who live here and speak the language. So as a Member, as well as getting something for yourself, you'll be helping the world understand Sweden and tackling disinformation.
 
3. Because advertising revenues are fickle
 
You'll notice that many brilliant brands advertise with us, and we're proud that they choose The Local to help build their businesses. But here's the thing: what the 14 years of running The Local have taught us is that the world of advertising is a fickle beast. It's sensitive to downturns in the economy and changes in technology, and the big platforms like Facebook and Google are taking an ever bigger chunk of the cake. To be confident that we can provide the depth and level of insight that Swedish news deserves, we need to earn money from other sources too.
 
 
4. Because if you're paying, we work for you
 
As journalists, we are driven by giving you, our readers, the information that really matters. But we're also a business, and like any business we have to take account of the views of the people who pay our salaries. Join us as a Member, and you will be helping to pay our salaries. That means we can create The Local that you want to read.
 
5. Because foreigners in Sweden deserve a voice
 
The Local isn't just here to explain Sweden to our readers, we're also here to represent our readers' interests in Sweden. We can do that because The Local is overwhelmingly staffed by foreigners – from places including the US, India, France and Britain (plus a few Swedes too) – The Local's staff mirror our readers.
 
So when foreigners are being thrown out of Sweden for minor bureaucratic errors, we'll be on their side. When carrying out basic tasks is made near-impossible because the authorities won't give immigrants a personal number, we make sure their voices are heard by Sweden's politicians. 
 
L-R: Danyar Mohammed, Fredrik Bergman, and Tayyab Shabab, who all feature in our article about Sweden's deportations of foreign workers. Photos: Centre for Justice and Claudio Bresciani/TT
 
6. Because if you live here, there's no substitute for staying connected
 
When you get off the plane and start a demanding job in Sweden, or if you're juggling kids and your career, learning Swedish might have to wait (though we'll help you with that too). But there's no substitute for knowing what's going on in your adopted country – it helps you chat with your colleagues and sound erudite for your friends at home. And it helps you stay one step ahead of your kids!
 
A father on parental leave out for a walk with his child. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT
 
7. Because you'll get to hang out with some fabulous people
 
If you're a Member of The Local, we'll invite you to our events. It will be a chance to hang out with some fabulous people – that is to say, your fellow Members (The Local's staff will be there too). In the future we'll bring in speakers to give you some food for thought, and we'll live stream this for Members who can't be there. If there's demand, we'd love to organize events in other parts of Sweden too.
 
Photo: Staffan Löwstedt/SvD/TT
 
8. Because we bring you great discounts
 
Right now, as a Member of The Local you can get a 10 percent discount on flights with Qatar Airways. You can also get free registration to car sharing service Drive Now (worth 290 kronor) and 120 kronor off chic designer trays from Olle Eksell, featuring a classic Stockholm motif.
 
9. Because it costs less than a cup of coffee a week
 
50 kronor a month is all it costs. We also have some great introductory offers so you can try out Membership first at a reduced price. If you take advantage of just one of our partner discounts, you'll already have recouped the cost of several months' subscription.
 
10. Bonus: Because it will give you insights into other countries too
 
You might be aware that The Local is also present in many other European countries, including France and Germany. When we start offering Membership in these countries, you will automatically become a Member there too, at no extra cost. Discover what's happening in those countries, and get invited to events in places like Paris and Berlin!
 
 
 
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