How many journalists in and out of Stormont?

I have heard it said, but seen no evidence, that there are more journalists/press officers working in the Northern Ireland Assembly and political parties with representatives in the Assembly and the Northern Ireland Office than work in Newspapers and Broadcasters (employees and freelancers) in Belfast.

That, of course does not include local newspapers. A question for later.

I do not know whether it is true. But is that information I can crowdsource?

Does anyone have any thoughts, ideas or better still statistics?

And if there are more people working in a journalistic/press/”information” capacity in government and political parties, what does that mean for democracy, and free flow of information?

(Personal declaration: yes I did work for a political party as Director of Communications.)

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