Not that this is really a surprise, but ASNE (the American Society of Those People Formerly Known As Newspaper Editors) is reporting that the industry lost 5,900 jobs in 2008, more than double the losses reported in 2007, but that the number of online-only journalists is up to (not by) 2,300.

Diversity in online-only organizations was higher than in traditional newsrooms, too, with minorities in newsrooms at 13.4% and minorities at online publications at 19.6%.

“The loss of people of color from our newsrooms is especially disturbing because our future depends on our ability to serve multicultural audiences,” Charlotte Hall, president of ASNE, said in a statement. “ASNE is committed to keeping newsroom diversity on the front burner even in tough times.”

Okay, so online only employment grew by 21%, and there are more minorities involved, which is great. But 2,300 journalists total??

We predict that this number will jump by at least 50% by the end of this year. No real basis for this guess except for all the Web startups we see launching, some of which are bound to succeed.