George Brock 'sad and horrified' over Observer threat

The new head of journalism at City University in London George Brock has said he would be ‘sad and horrified’to see the Observer close.

Brock has just joined City after a 36-year career in journalism which included being foreign editor, managing editor and most recently international editor of The Times.

He takes over a department which currently trains 250 undergraduate and 250 post graduate journalism students a year.

Brock, who started his national newspaper career as a features reporter on The Observer in 1976, said: “I would be sad and horrified to see it go, I do hope they don’t close it.

“I’m still very fond of The Observer even though it is a long time since I worked there. I do also think it’s a tremendously well designed paper and it’s still capable of producing some gripping and readable stuff. I’m a great Nick Cohen fan.

Guardian Media Group is facing some quite big difficulties so we sholdn’t be surprised that drastic solutions are being canvassed. But like most of the world I do hope that’s not the option they take.”

Guardian Media Group has said that closing The Observer has not been ruled out as it considers a number of options to curb growing losses for the company. A decision on the future of the paper is expected to be made at the autumn meeting of the Scott Trust, which owns GMG.

Press Gazette and the NUJ are both supporting a public meeting being held at the Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London on 21 September to air concerns about the paper’s future.

Comedian and Observer columnist David Mitchell and former Observer editor Donald Trelford are among those set to speak at the event which starts at 7pm.

A full interview with George Brock is appearing in the October issue of Press Gazette, only available to subscribers.

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