Our site, which has been free up until now, introduced membership on September 18th. It's fair to say the news is still sinking in with many readers. But we are very grateful to all those who have already signed up.
Essentially this means that to continue having unlimited access to the site, as well as being able to read the members' only “Premium” articles we'll publish, we're asking you to pay a contribution.
Occasional readers will still be able to read a number of articles each month for free.
Currently you can sign up for monthly membership at an introductory offer of just €2.49/month, or €24.99/year.
Since the beginning the aim of The Local Italy has been to give readers the essential news that keeps them up-to-date and informed with what is happening in the country. We've also tried to explain Italy to readers and help them with the essentials they need.
So from my point of view membership is a positive step. Asking readers to pay brings a responsibility that will make us improve what we do.
If we can reduce our reliance on advertising we won't need to chase clicks like other sites. We can concentrate on the stories that matter to our regular audience.
And having paid members will put more power at The Local in the hands of our readers.
We want members to help guide us on what stories or issues we need to cover, and to help us cover them. We'll be feeding back our Members' input into our editorial decisions, to help you determine how we can serve you best.
Advertising alone can never reliably fund the kind of service we as a company and I as the editor of The Local Italy want to offer you, our readers. We want to do more, and we want to do it better.
In short, we believe membership will help us give you what you need to know about Italy.