By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Remembering David Carr

David Carr. Photo via Wikipedia.

David Carr. Photo via Wikipedia.

This morning I woke up to the awful news that New York Times media columnist David Carr has died at the age of 58.

Carr’s Monday column, “The Media Equation,” was a ritual — all of us who watch the media for a living would check out what Carr had to say, often on Sunday evenings, when his weekly missive would be posted ahead of the next day’s print edition. His fierce intelligence and passion for what’s good in journalism made him the leading media commentator of our time. He was also a master of Twitter, and his quirky feed will be missed nearly as much as his more substantial work.

I knew Carr slightly. I vaguely recall talking with him a few times back when he was at the Washington City Paper and I was writing for the Boston Phoenix. In 2010, I had the honor of sharing a stage with him at MIT. His magnum opus on the Chicago Tribune under Sam Zell (one of the finest pieces of media reporting I’ve seen) had just been published, and Carr was at his profane, funny best.

In December 2013, Boston University announced that Carr would be taking a high-profile role in its journalism department. I remember talking with the director of our journalism school at Northeastern, Steve Burgard, about what it meant for the perpetual rivalry between the two programs.

Now Steve and David are both gone, well before their time.

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  1. What’s amazing is what has shifted in the media landscape this week alone. Brian Williams suspended. Jon Stewart announcing his departure. The incomparable Bob Simon dead in a car crash. And now David Carr.

  2. Andy Koppel

    I second every one of your comments and feelings. I would also add that his prominent role in the magnificent documentary, “Page One: Inside The New York Times,” is must viewing to understand the evolution of the newspaper business.

  3. Stan

    Dan, I read his last tweet yesterday about someone leaving him a v.m.and wondered what it was about that he commented on it. And what his reply was. And then I woke up this morning and saw the horrific news. My words fail me, but my emotions do not. If a Boston memorial service at which David’s admirers would be welcome, would you let me know? It’s been a very tough week for journalism, and I’m very sad. I would like to grieve with some like minded souls. I’ve not felt this devastated since Jim Thistle’s passing. Thanks. Stan Franzeen

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