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David Carr, New York Times journalist, dies at 58

David Carr, the gravelly-voiced veteran of the New York Times media beat has died at 58.

After collapsing at the newspaper’s office in Manhattan on Thursday night, he was rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was declared dead. Earlier that day, Carr moderated a panel discussion about the documentary “Citizenfour” with its subject Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald.

The columnist survived drug addiction in the 1980s and went on to edit alternative weeklies in Minneapolis and Washington D.C. before rising to prominence at the Times. He launched The Carpetbagger, the newspaper’s blog on the film awards season, and co-anchored The Sweet Spot, a weekly video series on pop culture, but was most admired for his Monday column, The Media Equation.

NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan spoke with David Carr and The New Yorker’s Ken Auletta of The New Yorker in October 2013 about the influence on-demand technologies on the business of media.

He was there to report on his friend Jayson Blair, when Blair’s 2003 plagiarism scandal rocked the institution and its executive editor Howell Raines. He was there when the Times’ publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. ousted its last editor Jill Abramson in 2014.

But, dogged in his defense of journalism, which he believed was entering a “golden age,” Carr was more than a watcher for the Times, he was a helm for the industry. Beyond the Times offices in midtown Manhattan, he touched many through his ability to spot talent and his mentorship of those that he believed in.

Carr had one line about journalism that summed up his thoughts about his profession: “It beats working.”

In his 2008 memoir, which investigated his darkest moments of addiction, Carr wrote with an earnest humility many of his friends say he lived by.

David Carr was featured in Miles O’Brien’s 2012 report on alcohol addiction and its role in our genes.

“I now inhabit a life I don’t deserve, but we all walk this earth feeling like we are frauds,” he wrote. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end too soon.”

Without Carr to factor the media equation, what does the industry add up to? His friends and colleagues were left with the variables Thursday night, dissecting them over Twitter in heartbreaking fits and starts.





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