The buzz on Biloxi, as seen in the eyes of the nation

Hundreds of major newspaper articles and dozens of nationally televised news reports have chronicled the epic devastation and inspirational recovery efforts in Biloxi and its surrounding communities, and the onslaught of coverage is continuing.

National correspondents from FOX, NBC and CBS have been in Biloxi over the past several days, working on stories covering such topics as “why things are going so well here” (FOX); code enforcement efforts and the growing need for shelter for relief workers (NBC); and the casino resort industry’s role in the recovery effort (CBS).

The television news reports about Biloxi, which should be airing over the next few days, are part of a flurry of national coverage over the next few days.

This Sunday, the New York Times Magazine, with an audience of nearly 7 million readers, will feature an eight-page spread of text and photos about the pressing issues faced in the recovery effort.

And as the magazine is hitting newsstands across the country Sunday morning, a host of national media is expected to be in Biloxi to cover the implosion of the Grand Casino Island View Hotel on Casino Row, which takes place shortly after daybreak.

On Monday, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough is scheduled to make a return visit to Biloxi, and The Weather Channel will be broadcasting from the Gulf Coast June 1-4, including live segments from Biloxi throughout the day June 4.

Mayor A.J. Holloway has said the continuing media coverage will play an important role in the city’s long-term recovery. In the three weeks immediately after the storm, Biloxi was the focus of more than 41 national news broadcasts before a total audience of more than 75 million, according to Bacon’s Media Monitoring, a Chicago firm that tracks media coverage of issues. The company said that the segments on Biloxi in that three-week period accounted for more than an hour in a medium where a mere 30 seconds of air time would cost thousands of dollars.

Media interest is also expected to intensify with the June 1 start of hurricane season and as the Aug. 29 first anniversary of the storm approaches.

“We have a compelling story here in Biloxi,” Holloway has said repeatedly in post-storm interviews. “In that decade or so before the storm, this city and its residents were enjoying the most prosperous time in our 300-year history. We’re using these interviews as a platform to show the rest of the nation that we have an even brighter and even more promising future here in Biloxi. The national audience is seeing that we’re up to the challenge and Biloxi is coming back.

“I’ll say the same thing I said the afternoon of Aug. 29: we’re going to meet this unprecedented natural disaster with an unprecedented recovery. The rest of the country is going to remember Biloxi not so much for the devastation and destruction of the storm, but for this community’s remarkable recovery effort.”

A sampling of the post-storm print coverage of Biloxi

Here’s a sampling of the print stories published to national audiences about Biloxi’s recovery efforts:

— New York Times: Dec. 14, 2005: “Bright Spot on Gulf as Casinos Rush to Rebuild.” Click here.

— Washington Post: Jan. 17, 2006: “Good Bet on Biloxi.” Click here.

— Washington Post, March 10, 2006: “Mississippi’s Reversal of Fortune: In casino towns, aid and speculation fuel a post-Katrina boom.” Click here.