The number of staff who have left the US newspaper industry since 2001 is now estimated at 105,000, according to the MediaPost website.
Based on records kept by the U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Labor and tallies by various industry watchers, total employment in the newspaper publishing business has declined from 414,000 in 2001 to 309,000 at the end of 2009, a 25.4% drop over the course of eight years. MediaPost says that the layoffs accelearted through 2009. "After losing an average 3.5% per year from 2001-2006, in 2007-2009, the average rate of loss increased to 5% per year. After a period of relative stability, newsroom losses grew steeper towards the end of the period: Total employment declined by an average 1% per year from 2001-2006, then accelerated to 5% from 2007-2009, including an 11% drop from 2008-2009." MediaPost concludes: "Though it's hard to generalize about the meaning of these figures with certainty, they may indicate that, having held out against newsroom layoffs as long as possible, in 2009 newspaper publishers finally decided they had cut other business functions to the bone, and reluctantly began cutting costs in the newsroom.
"If this is the case, and if 2010-2011 doesn't bring a big rebound in newspapers' fortunes, coming years may see the quality and quantity of journalism suffer noticeably." Via E&P in Exile
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery