The decade-long devastation of the print news business, crushed by the sagging economy, the evaporation of classified and display advertising, and a reader shift to digital media, has cost at least 54,200 newsroom jobs in newspapers and magazines alone, according to Pew Research.

That figure, buried in a new Harvard University study about the troubles non-traditional reporters have getting congressional, White House and other official press passes to cover news events, is the highest calculation of job losses in American journalism yet.

The June study from Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy refers to a Pew Research Journalism Project report on the state of the media, which focused on the shift to digital platforms and the addition of nearly 5,000 new internet-based news jobs.

That report, released in late March, included the following: “Purely in terms of bodies, the growth in new digital full-time journalism jobs seems to have compensated for only a modest percentage of the lost legacy jobs in newspaper newsrooms alone in the past decade. From 2003 to 2012, the American Society of News Editors documented a loss of 16,200 full-time newspaper newsroom jobs while Ad Age recorded a decline of 38,000 magazine jobs, which includes all jobs for the entire consumer magazine sector.”

Washington news bureaus have been a major part of the radical cuts. More than half of the Washington bureaus operated by media outlets have been killed over the last decade, and the remaining often operate with just a handful of reporters, not the dozens of decades ago.

And national and local television and radio newsrooms have also suffered since 2003. Local TV has been hit especially hard, as companies have shifted from two- and three-person reporting, camera and sound teams to a single reporter.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at