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Ten excellent reasons to become a Member of The Local

Why are we asking loyal readers of The Local to become paying Members? In the time-honoured tradition of The Local, co-founder James Savage gives ten reasons.

Ten excellent reasons to become a Member of The Local
Photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT
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 in 2017 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 15 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) and sometimes we'll bring in speakers to give you some food for thought. 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
Some of the discounts we have offered in the past have included 10 percent off on flights with Qatar Airways, free registration to car-sharing service Drive now and 120 kronor off chic designer trays from Olle Eksell. Click here to see what offers are currently available.
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. 
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 you sign up in Sweden, you'll 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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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!