Editor’s Note: The May 2017 election was a major event in the Cayman Islands and, accordingly, a major point of focus for news coverage in the Cayman Compass.
In addition to two distinct special publications distributed with the print edition of the Compass newspaper (a 48-page Elections Directory in April and a 32-page Voters’ Guide in May), our journalists reported on the election on a near-daily basis throughout the months of campaigning, on Elections Day itself and afterward while the Progressives-led coalition government formed.
Here is an analysis – adapted from an internal newsroom memo – of the performance of elections-related coverage on the Cayman-Compass.com website:
In total, the Compass published 193 election-related stories, columns and cartoons, appearing in print and online at CaymanCompass.com.
The majority of the stories were published after April 15, 2017 (about six weeks before the May 24 elections), but the earliest appeared a full year before, in May 2016, announcing the deadline for voter registration.
Those items were viewed about 320,000 times.
In addition, we published several types of online features – “home pages,” “category pages,” videos, etc. – that don’t fit neatly into the normal definition of “story.” For example:
Our live coverage of Nomination Day drew about 12,000 pageviews and 4,600 “unique” views – basically a metric of how many IP addresses visited the page that day – with an average time spent on page of about five minutes. (For context, our website’s average time spent on page is about two minutes.) The increased time on page and the large number of views compared to “unique” views suggests that people were lingering on our Nominations Day coverage, and refreshing to see updates.
Similarly, our live coverage of Election day drew more than 25,000 pageviews and 12,000 “uniques,” with an average time on page of nearly six minutes.
The day after the election, May 25, our homepage attracted more than 27,000 pageviews and 16,000 “uniques.”
Our online homepage for the Elections 2017 (CaymanCompass.com/Elections-2017/) ended up drawing 33,000 views (and 20,000 uniques) since launching in mid-February 2017.
Our individual candidate profiles drew more than 30,000 pageviews. The videos of candidate interviews drew a total of 19,000 views.
In addition to candidate interviews, we made seven other election-related videos. In total, those videos were viewed 10,000 times.
In the accumulation, all of the election-related content on CaymanCompass.com attracted about 500,000 pageviews.
Honing in on our coverage of Election Day itself, and during the ensuing political struggle for control of the government, CaymanCompass.com drew hundreds of thousands of pageviews from more than 67,000 individual users – greater than the population of the Cayman Islands.
Enabled largely by readers’ interest in our political overage, traffic to the Compass’ website in May exceeded, for the first time, 1 million pageviews for the month.
Comparing May 2017 to May 2016, our pageviews increased by 44 percent.
Comparing the first six months of 2017 to 2016, our pageviews have increased by 15 percent.
So far this month, pageviews in June 2017 have increased by 25 percent compared to June 2016.
Since we launched our new Compass website in February 2016, annual traffic has increased by about 15 percent compared to our old website at CompassCayman.com.
The bottom line is that CaymanCompass.com is by far the most popular local news site in the Cayman Islands, as determined by third-party internet traffic monitors.
In Cayman, the Compass’ website is more popular than global sites such as Twitter, Netflix, Instagram, CNN, MSN and the BBC.
And … as demonstrated by the consistent growth outlined above, the Compass’s online product has not come close to reaching its ceiling yet.