Expatriates across Europe will be able to get more plugged into their new home countries from Monday, with the launch of The Local in France (thelocal.fr), the first of a series of major new English-language news websites.
The Local will bring foreign professionals living in France the latest news and features, along with a range of other services – all in the English language.
The Local currently operates news sites in Sweden, Germany and Switzerland. The launch of the new sites is the result of a major new investment in The Local by Swedish investors.
“English is the language expats across Europe speak at work and in their free time. Yet nobody is catering for their local media needs, so advertisers are missing a chance to reach an incredibly valuable audience,” says Paul Rapacioli, CEO of The Local.
Research shows that expatriates of all nationalities communicate in English, wherever they live.
Among Japanese expatriates, for instance, 68 percent say they speak good English. Among native English-speaking expatriates, relatively few speak a foreign language proficiently. Yet 75 percent of expatriates say that understanding their host country’s culture is one of their biggest challenges:
“Foreign professionals read the Financial Times and Monocle and watch CNN for their global media fix, but they also want to connect with the country in which they’re living. That’s where we come in,” Rapacioli adds.
The Local employs experienced full-time journalists, backed up by a stable of freelancers.
“Investing in journalism is the only way to build a loyal, high-quality audience,” says James Savage, managing editor of The Local, which currently boasts a monthly audience of 2 million unique visitors across its existing sites.
The Local in France will be staffed by editor Paul O’Mahony, former editor of The Local in Sweden, and Matthew Warren, formerly a journalist at BBC Radio 4, along with a stable of experienced freelancers.
The launch of thelocal.fr will be followed by a series of further site launches, in countries including Norway, Belgium, Spain and Austria.
“More sites means exponentially stronger synergies both in terms of traffic and in terms of monetizing that traffic,” says Robin Reznik, Head of International Operations.
“We’ve spent the past twelve months developing a custom-built platform that will enable us to roll out The Local quickly and efficiently in new markets over the next few months.”
“What’s great about this is that whether it’s Paris, Stockholm or Rome, we’re talking to the same audience, in the same language and many of the same advertisers,” says Paul Rapacioli.
The Local has won plaudits in its current markets of Germany and Sweden. It was a nominee for Digital Newspaper of the Year in Sweden and is frequently quoted by international media, including the BBC, NPR, the Economist, the Huffington Post and Der Spiegel.
For more information, please contact:
Paul Rapacioli, MD, The Local: +46 73 657 1871 [email protected]
James Savage, Managing Editor, The Local: +46 708 593 346 [email protected]
Robin Reznik, head of international operations, The Local [email protected] +46 706 789 038
Paul O’Mahony, editor thelocal.fr, +46 702 766 115 [email protected]
The Local Europe AB was founded in Stockholm in 2004. The news network publishing national news in English now operates websites in Sweden (thelocal.se), Germany (thelocal.de), Switzerland (thelocal.ch) and France (thelocal.fr) –serving more than 2 million unique visitors per month with national news from the countries covered.