Compass decision proves right

It appears the decision of management and staff of the Caymanian Compass to become an afternoon paper was the right one.

‘We’ve been able to offer today’s news today in more than one instance,’ said Publisher Brian Uzzell. ‘It is refreshing to know that we are capable of providing the most relevant information to our readers and advertisers in a timely fashion.’

The Caymanian Compass continues to be the only daily newspaper printed in the Cayman Islands.

Mr. Uzzell said everyone on his staff agreed to commit to make the newspaper better following the passage of Hurricane Ivan.

There is still some confusion on the part of loyal Compass readers who are accustomed to receiving the daily newspaper in the morning. Many assume the editions being delivered in the afternoons are late arrivals. They are not.

Going to the afternoon format allows newspapers to be on the streets by 3pm daily with fresh news. Before the schedule change the day’s newspaper was being printed the prior day, i.e., Tuesday’s paper was being produced Monday.

The reality of offering of today’s news today became apparent the first day the Caymanian Compass printed its own post-Ivan edition on its own presses. A page 1 story on 1 December informed readers that a tropical storm was brewing that day 825 miles off Bermuda.

When a fire broke out at the George Town Landfill, the Caymanian Compass was able to tell readers the status of the fire the same day; likewise, with a story on debris fires in Spotts. The Compass talked to residents during the morning and was able to offer the story the same day.

Just this week readers were told Tuesday that Foster’s Food Fair at the Airport had reopened that day, along with a photograph on page 1 that showed early morning activity at the grocery store’s reopening following the hurricane.

The big story of the week came Tuesday night when a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Grand Cayman. Under the old schedule the event would have happened past deadline, which meant readers wouldn’t have gotten the story until Thursday. Under the afternoon newspaper scenario adopted by the Compass, readers were able to find out the details of the hurricane in Wednesday’s newspaper.

‘The teamwork that is going into producing a timely newspaper for our loyal readers and advertisers has been phenomenal,’ said Mr. Uzzell. ‘There is a commitment across the board to make the Compass better and stronger.’

There have also been other perks associated with the new scheduling, Mr. Uzzell said.

‘For the first time in the history of the Caymanian Compass each and every employee will be able to take their Christmas and New Year’s holidays,’ he said. ‘In the past we’ve had to rely on skeleton staffs to get the newspaper out, which meant that staff members had to leave their families on these days when families should have the liberty to spend time together.’

Work is continuing on the Caymanian Compass presses, which were heavily damaged during Hurricane Ivan. The daily editions are being printed on only one side of the press.

Once the entire press is up and running, readers and advertisers will see an even smoother transition in the newspaper’s commitment to get today’s news out today.

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