NEW YORK (AP) – Media columnist David Carr, who wrote the Media Equation column for The New York Times and penned a memoir about his fight with drug addiction, collapsed at his office and died on Thursday. He was 58.
Just hours before his death he had moderated a “Times Talks” conversation with Edward Snowden, director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald about the documentary “Citizenfour.” Engaged as always, he drew them out with pointed questions and wry observations to speak candidly about the film.
Carr’s column focused on issues of media in relation to business, culture and government, said the Times, which confirmed his death.
Carr joined the Times in 2002 as a business reporter, covering magazine publishing. His Media Equation column appeared in the Monday business section.
Before joining the Times, Carr was a contributing writer for The Atlantic Monthly and New York magazine. He also was a media writer for news website Inside.com.
He served as editor of the Washington City Paper, an alternative weekly in Washington, D.C. He also was editor of a Minneapolis-based alternative weekly called Twin Cities Reader.
Carr, who lived in Montclair, New Jersey, with his wife and their daughter and had two other children, also wrote “The Night of the Gun,” a 2008 memoir about addiction and recovery.
The book, published by Simon and Schuster, traces Carr’s rise from cocaine addict to single dad raising twin girls to sobered-up media columnist for the Times.
Carr said he wrote up a book proposal “on a dare to myself” in two days. After an agent sold the idea, Carr ended up interviewing about 60 people and working on the book for three years. He took the transcribed interviews, numerous documents and pictures to his family’s cabin in the Adirondacks, where he wrote the book.
Last year, Carr began teaching a Boston University class that explored the creative business models to support digital journalism. It was among the first professorships dedicated to evaluating how media organizations can sustain themselves financially as readers and advertisers migrate to digital platforms, a crisis that has doomed some news organizations and threatens the viability of others.
Carr had written about the issue 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,” Carr told The Boston Globe.