Wednesday, 20 March 2013
The Stationers’ Company 2013 Annual Lecture Monday 18th March
The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers had given their 2013 Annual Lecture the title Why Newspapers Still Matter.
The speaker Sir David Bell was not entirely a stranger to me – he recruited me from Cable and Wireless to Pearson in 1999 when he was Director of People, giving me responsibility for management development across the Pearson Group internationally. I worked with him for four years before moving on to the Industry and Parliament Trust as CEO. David has since retired as Chairman of the Financial Times and has also stood down in 2009 from the Board of Pearson plc after thirteen years as a Director. He currently serves as Master of the Guild of St Bride's Church.
The topical theme of the lecture was the freedom of the press post the Leveson Inquiry. David served as an Assessor on the Leveson Enquiry and I well recall seeing him enduring month after month of painstaking televised examination of witnesses. As someone with an established track record in newspapers, Sir David certainly brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to bear on the subject. How ironic that Leveson had already again become the headlines of the day with apparent eleventh hours agreement reached between the three political parties about establishing regulation by the convoluted device of a Royal Charter – which had the benefit of not easily being meddled with by politicians.
The Lecture was followed by drinks and Dinner. Altogether a very pleasant and informative evening and my thanks to my kind hosts at Stationers for the invitation.