The New York Hard Times

The Times Loses David Carr, One of its Most Prolific Writers.


James Peru, Cactus Editor

On February 12, 2015, David Carr, author and long-time columnist for The New York Times, died suddenly. Carr collapsed shortly after moderating a discussion about the film Citizenfour (a 2014 documentary concerning Edward Snowden and the NSA spying scandal) at the Times’ offices in Manhattan.

At 58 years old, Carr also taught part-time as the Lack Professor of Media Studies at Boston University, where he emphasized the importance of making and distributing content in today’s media landscape. “The ability to do journalism, to reach audiences, has never been better. I like your odds. I do,” said Carr during a 2014 commencement speech at The University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism.

Perhaps what set Carr apart from most of today’s journalists was the unorthodox way he rose to prominence. His past is not one filled with private school education and awards for student journalism; instead his past is filled with years of addiction and incarceration, which he chronicles in his 2008 memoir, The Night of the Gun. Only someone haunted by so many demons can write like an angel the way he did. David Carr was an inspiration to aspiring journalists everywhere, of all generations, including myself. His fierce commitment to the truth was a testament to the power that journalism can still have if used in the right way, especially in today’s society, where lies can seemingly always be bought for the right price. With Carr gone, it is up to us, the journalists of the future, to carry on his legacy of reporting on the things that may not always be easy to digest; it is these stories that have the potential to make changes which we all hope to see.}