The pace of bloodletting in America’s bullpens relented slightly in 2009, according to a study released Sunday by the American Society of News Editors.
It was still an ugly year. Last year, daily newspapers cut headcount by 5,200, or 11%, a slightly milder loss than the 5,900 layoffs and buyouts in 2008, said ASNE. The total number of journalists who’ve left the business since 2007 rose to 13,500. Newsrooms have shed a quarter of their workers since 2001, by ASNE’s count, and there are now around 41,500 scribblers who still have jobs.
The last time America had so few newsroom workers was in the 1970s.
The survey included an inaugural look at online-only publications:
For the first time, ASNE also surveyed the staffs at 28 online only newspapers. Only 25 percent returned their survey forms, compared to a nearly 65 percent response rate for daily newspapers.