With the recent news that another major cut has wiped out the future bylines of more than a dozen reporters and editors at the Arizona Republic, I thought it too bad they don’t have a place to gather – like the Stationers’ Company.
While at the recent semi-annual Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) meetings in London, we had a group dinner at the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.
It’s where the first King James version of the Bible was transcribed. It’s also where Shakespeare’s First Folio, Milton’s Paradise Lost, Dr. Johnson’s Dictionary and other famous works are entered in the registers.
Since its origination in 1403, the company continues to draw its membership from those working in the “trades of the guild,” including those in paper supply, printing, publishing, packaging, office products, newspapers, broadcasting and online media industries.
It’s a lot like a 600-year-old union hall, a sophisticated fraternity house or a baseball clubhouse where everyone has similar interests. Or maybe even more like the former R & G Ranch, which served as a private park for Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette employees. That was until 2009, when Phoenix Newspapers, owners of the two Phoenix dailies and the R & G Ranch, said “off with its head!” and sold the remaining 11 acres.
Hmmm. Much like what was heard in the newsroom recently.