An English-language news service claims to have attracted an extra million monthly visitors since launching new sites in France, Italy, Spain and Norway in the first half of this year.
Stockholm-based The Local was launched in 2004 by Englishmen Paul Rapacioli and James Savage as a weekly newsletter offering an English language round-up of Swedish news. In addition to Sweden and the new sites, it operates in Switzerland and Germany.
The Local claims that its Spain and France editions, launched in the spring, each attracted 400,000 unique visitors in July – and that total traffic to the seven-site network was 3.6m unique visitors in July.
“We’re thrilled that our investment in new sites has generated so many new readers so quickly,” said Rapacioli.
“There’s enormous demand for local news in English from around Europe as people’s lives become increasingly international and we begin to understand how interdependent we have become.”
He added: “But at the same time, the major news organisations have drastically cut their foreign reporting. That’s the gap The Local is filling.”
The Local says it employs two to three staff journalists in each of its editorial offices in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Stockholm and Geneva. Additional reporting is undertaken by freelances.