David Carr, the acerbic press critic who wrote the New York Times’ Media Equation column, died tonight in the Times’ offices, the newspaper reports. He was 58.
In a note to staff, Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet wrote:
I am sorry to have to tell you that our wonderful, esteemed colleague David Carr died suddenly tonight after collapsing in the newsroom. A group of us were with his wife, Jill, and one of his daughters, at the hospital. His daughter Erin said he was special, and that he was.
He was the finest media reporter of his generation, a remarkable and funny man who was one of the leaders of our newsroom. He was our biggest champion, and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world, and by people who love journalism.
Carr joined the Times in 2002, and as its media critic became one of the paper’s most visible faces, playing a prominent role in the 2011 documentary Page One. Earlier this evening, Carr moderated a panel discussion featuring the NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald.
Before joining the Times, Carr was a writer at Inside.com and the editor, for five years, of Washington City Paper—where, on a personal note, I worked years later, and where he had left a long shadow. He had also been a writer and an editor of the Twin Cities Reader in Minneapolis, where he struggled with and overcame an addiction to crack cocaine, events that were at the center of his 2008 memoir The Night of the Gun.
On Twitter, Times journalists—and what seemed like just about every other journalist—expressed their grief:
David Carr died today at 58. I owe him far more than 140. I owe him my career. http://t.co/kwVFWjFss2— Sam Sifton (@SamSifton) February 13, 2015
David Carr is one of the finest journalists and one of the best human beings I've ever known.— a. o. scott (@aoscott) February 13, 2015
I am overcome with grief over the death of David Carr, an incredible colleague and dear friend. One of the loveliest people in the newsroom.— Pamela Paul (@PamelaPaulNYT) February 13, 2015
I'm very much saddened to learn of David Carr's passing. He was one of my first editors and I learned tremendously from him.— jelani cobb (@jelani9) February 13, 2015
RIP, David Carr. The world just got a little safer for bad journalism and media bullshit artists.— Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) February 13, 2015