By: Jennifer Saba
The Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss. is not letting the damage from Katrina stop the presses.
The Knight Ridder-owned paper, sacked by the storm, is getting help from sister publications throughout the country, especially the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, which is producing and printing the Sun Herald.
Pam Siddall, publisher of the Ledger-Enquirer, said that in addition to people in her newsroom, the paper is hosting four reporters from the Sun Herald, one from San Jose, Calif., and one from Macon, Ga.
“Everybody is coming together,” she said.
And yet, about a dozen Sun Herald employees are still in the Biloxi newspaper building, which has lost power. Contact has been made through satellite phone, which is “sporadic,” Siddall said. E-mail, though, is up and running.
Those reporters are managing to blog and send in reports updated by Knight Ridder Digital. Siddall explained some reporters are using their battery-powered laptops — for how long, it remains to be seen — to create dispatches.
Additionally, 20,000 copies of the Sun Herald — roughly half of its daily circulation — are now en route to Biloxi from Columbus to be handed out for free. Today’s eight-page paper includes full color photographs and maps and was printed on heavier stock. “We needed something that would be better quality. My sense is people want to keep this,” Siddall said. Wednesday’s paper is slated for 24-pages.
The Ledger-Enquirer, along with The Miami Herald, is sending supplies, like water, powdered milk, and breakfast bars, to the Biloxi newspaper.
“There’s a lot of sadness and we’re worried about the people in Biloxi,” Siddall said. “If you saw some of those photos — it’s gruesome.”