David Carr, author of the New York Times' "Media Equation" column, collapsed and died at his office last night just hours after moderating a "TimesTalks" conversation with Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras, and journalist Glenn Greenwald on Citizenfour, a documentary about Snowden's NSA leaks. Carr, 58, lived in Montclair, NJ, with his wife and their daughter (he has two more children), and wrote The Night of the Gun, a 2008 memoir about how he went from cocaine addict to single father raising twin daughters to, ultimately, sober media columnist. Prior to joining the Times in 2002, he helmed alternative weeklies in Minneapolis and Washington, DC, and was a contributing writer for the Atlantic and New York magazine, the AP reports.
Last year, Carr started teaching a Boston University class on how journalism can sustain itself in the digital age, an issue about which he had written extensively. "I think a lot of journalism education that is going on is broadly not preparing kids for the world that they are stepping into," he told the Boston Globe. More:
- Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. calls Carr "an indispensable guide to modern media" and "one of the most gifted journalists who has ever worked" at the paper.
- The Washington Post has a piece worth reading about Carr's battles with addiction and his decades-long friendship with comedian Tom Arnold; Vox has compiled five of his best columns.
- New York Times obituary here. Here's a line from it: "A cancer survivor with a throaty croak of a speaking voice and a storklike posture, he was a curmudgeonly personality whose intellectual cockiness and unwillingness to suffer fools found their way into his prose."
- The Times has a few lines from his memoir. A standout portion: "We all walk the earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn't end any time soon."