05/17/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Newsroom Employment Level Lowest Since Early 1980s

NEW YORK Newsroom employment has plunged 11.3% in 2008, with the industry losing some 5,900 jobs, according to the American Society of News Editors (ASNE). It's the biggest drop the organization has recorded since it first started conducing its newsroom employment survey in 1978.

The number of jobs losses more than doubled in 2008 compared with 2007 when the industry shed 2,400 jobs.

The number of newsroom jobs is now at a level last seen during the early 1980s.

However, other findings from the survey include a 21% rise year-over-year in online-only journalists to 2,300, of which 19.6% were minorities.

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