Annual Lecture

The Stationers' Company Industry Committee is responsible for mounting activities to bring benefits to all the Trades of the Guild, in liaison with the principal trade associations and organisations representing the trades and industries served. The Group puts on three main activities for this purpose every year: 

  • the Annual Livery Lecture, when an eminent speaker addresses a topic relating to the Company's industries;
  • the Summer Colloquium, when a panel of distinguished speakers is drawn together to address a topic of current importance in the fields of graphic and visual communications, and
  • the Autumn Event, when leading practitioners provide an executive briefing on a technical subject of relevance to the industries.

Simon Fox, CEO of Reach Plc,  delivered the 2019 Stationers' Annual Lecture and has made his text available to Members.  Click here to read the full text. 

Emma Tucker, Deputy Editor of the Times  delivered the 2018 Stationers' Annual Lecture and has made her text available to Members.  Click here to read the full text. 

James Harding, Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC delivered the 2017 Stationers' Annual Lecture and has made his text available to Members.  Click here to read the full text and here to read a summary of the Lecture from Nina-Sophia Miralles.

Libby Purves OBE delivered the 2016 Stationers' Annual Lecture  with the title Content providers in the age of Discontent. The evening’s proceedings were moderated by Michael Binyon OBE. Ms Purves made a series of telling points about the economics publishing, focusing on newspapers but also covering magazines and books. The migration from hard copy to online delivery, for which vast swathes of the population seem unwilling to pay, has proved financially difficult and, she suggested, was having a negative impact on the quality of the publications. She wondered whether good content was doomed if the reading public were not willing to pay for it. Could free content financed by advertising, ever be impartial? Can solid journalistic training for young people be provided if there is no income from which to finance it? Can news correspondents in difficult parts of the world such as Syria continue to be supported if their stories have to be provided free?

It was very thought-provoking and covered a subject which has been debated often in Stationers’ Hall: the very survival on newspapers. Libby approached it from the point of view of the future of qood quality journalism and those who delivered it. It was a serious look at an important issue delivered with a light touch and much humour.

Sir David Arculus, currently Chairman of Energy (UK), Hassium Asset Management and a Non Executive Director of Pearson plc, delivers the Stationers' Annual Lecture  2015.


Click here to read the full text of Sir David's lecture.


Tim Cobbold, CEO of De La Rue delivers the Stationers' Annual Lecture - 10 March 2014

TC AL 10 March 2014


Click here to read the full text of Tim Cobbold's lecture


Sir David Bell delivers the Stationers' Annual Lecture - 18 March 2013



Click here to read the full text of Sir David's lecture


Sir Christopher Meyer Delivers the Stationers' Annual Lecture - 16 April 2012



Click here to read the full text of Sir Christopher's lecture

Martha Lane Fox’s Inspirational Online Challenge


Britain can have a remarkably successful digital future if business, government and the voluntary sector rise to the challenge of new information technology, Martha Lane Fox told  a capacity audience of senior executives from the Communications industry at Stationers’ Hall on 15 March, promoting the enormous rewards to be gained from a fully inclusive online society.   The whole country would benefit through cost savings, new business opportunities and more efficient social services.

“The internet can be a weapon in fighting poverty.  It can save lives and it can change lives.  For the disabled, the homeless and the hopeless, it offers exciting possibilities for self-help and education.  It can build personal skills, encourage entrepreneurship and create new businesses.  Technology is at the heart of it all.” she declared. Listing the challenges to each sector, Lane Fox called on the financial community to make it easier for young entrepreneurs to find start-up funding, the government to streamline its online services for citizens, and the charitable sector to improve its efficiency through IT systems. 

The Lecture was followed by a question and answer session which was moderated by BBC Business Correspondent Peter Day.  In answering questions Lane Fox said the future of media, particularly digital media, would depend on the quality of its content.  Trusted brands would survive, she predicted, although not necessarily in traditional paper form.

The event was sponsored by  Stationers' Company Corporate Members,  BNP Paribas.

Please click here to view the edited text of Martha Lane Fox's lecture. 


Future of Copyright debate at Stationers’ Hall
opened by James Murdoch on 8 November 2010




James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation opened the 2010 Stationers’ Industry Forum last night Monday 8 November 2010.  The Forum, entitled ‘Copyright in the Digital Age: Industry Issues and Impacts’, addressed the continuing importance of copyright to the UK publishing community as it adopts and develops new digital publishing strategies and business models.


The event was staged at Stationers’ Hall which was referred to as the cradle of copyright and marked the 300th anniversary of the Statute of Anne which was introduced as “an Act for the Encouragement of Learning” in 1710.  The Act followed 150 years of prior involvement in Crown-approved compliance by the Stationers’ Livery Company.

In his opening remarks James Murdoch addressed how working copyrights are a fundamental tool in encouraging investment and innovation, which support the development of a diverse and rich cultural future.  Mr Murdoch commented on the importance of the rights of creators and artists, both over the use of their work and recognition for it.

Highlighting the topicality of the Forum, BBC London presenter Mike Ramsden, moderating, reflected on the remarks of the Prime Minister last week regarding the relaxation of intellectual property laws to “make them fit for the internet age” and Mr Cameron’s comments, that he would like to allow greater use of copyright material without the owner's permission.  Mike Ramsden said that Mr Cameron’s remarks might be seen as a potentially devastating threat by publishers, writers and broadcasters.

Dr Sarah Thomas, Bodley’s  Librarian at Oxford University, gave an overview of the 24 submissions first published on a special website, and commented that this collection of works, now published in book form ,  provided an important and valuable contribution  to the current debate on the future of copyright.

Panellists included John Howkins, author of The Creative Economy, Chairman of Future plc, Roger Parry, and Kevin Taylor from Cambridge University Press. Along with James Murdoch and Sarah Tomas all are contributors to the book Copyright in the Digital Age.

The event and book launch were preceded by an academic conference on Copyright in the Digital Age organised by Professor Iain Stevenson of University College London with addresses by Professor Catherine Seville, Newnham College, Cambridge; Professor John Feather, Loughborough University; Professor Simon Eliot, University of London; and Richard Balkwill, publisher.





The Worshipful Company
of Stationers
and Newspaper Makers

Stationers' Hall
Ave Maria Lane
London EC4M 7DD

Telephone: 020 7248 2934
Fax: 020 7489 1975