The annual survey by the American Society of News Editors released yesterday found newsroom employment dropped to 32,900 in 2014 from 36,700 a year earlier.
The survey highlighted the ongoing hemorrhaging at traditional news organisations as readers turn to online sources of information.
But the results also showed some gains in large-circulation newspapers and some very small ones.
ASNE found the number of employees at newspapers with daily circulations between 250,000 and 500,000 increased by 13.98 per cent. Those with circulations under 5,000 had a 15.9 per cent increase.
But the drop was a whopping 21.58 per cent among newspapers with circulations between 100,000 and 250,000.
Ken Doctor, a media analyst at the research firm Outsell, said the job losses were notable in a growing economy.
“If we project the recent decline forward, we’ll have one-half the number of daily journalists working in 2016 or 2017 as we did 16 years ago,” he said in a blog post.
“And this year’s loss happened in the best US economy in close than a decade. Daily newspapers have bled people in good times and bad.”
Newspaper employment peaked in 1990 at 56,900, according to ASNE.
Doctor said there are only around 10 US dailies with a circulation of about 250,000, and the data suggests they are investing for growth.
ASNE said its census showed 12.76 per cent were minorities, down slightly from 13.34 per cent a year earlier, and held in the range of 12 to 14 per cent over the past decade. — AFP