I have been a fan of David Carr’s since I met him briefly in Toronto about five years ago when I stumbled into a talk he gave at an alternative newspaper conference.
Carr walked around the room and was brilliant, talking very plainly about what was happening all over media. He was particularly blunt about the rise of social media and its empowerment of individual writers and their ideas. He turned out to be right.
What struck me was that his heart was clearly with community weeklies; he got his start with the Twin Cities Reader and the Washington City Paper. I got hooked on his Media Equation column at the New York Times each week, and I watched his loose videos from the Times cafeteria about movies and random stuff. I would look for anything he wrote. His was an extraordinary talent.
Seeing Carr in Toronto, you could tell he’d traveled many miles in life, and I learned later that he had beat tough medical and drug problems.
It’s a terrible loss for his family and a big loss for the newspaper community — producers and readers alike. He will be missed.