David Carr, the funny, eccentric, insightful media columnist for The New York Times, died suddenly this past week at the age of 58. A former drug addict, alcoholic and self-described "full-on maniac," Mr. Carr dared journalists to be mindful of their public responsibility, but worried about the fate of the industry. We re-broadcast Michael's interview with David Carr from 2012.
CBC Radio ·
On Thursday, February 12, New York Times media columnist David Carr hosted a conversation with Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald and director Laura Poitras about explosive leaks concerning the National Security Agency's surveillance campaigns.
Only hours later, he collapsed and died in his office at the Times. Presumably, it's the sort of thing he'd relish, spending some of his last hours doing -- being -- in the thick of conversations about information, news gathering and the craft and business of journalism.
Journalism has always seemed to be in one state or another of crisis or transition or turmoil. Are newspapers really an endangered species? Are the internet and social media ushering in a new golden age of journalism, or are they the final nails in the coffin of journalism as a guild of highly-trained workers with a professional code of standards and ethics? Does anybody listen to or trust reporters any more? And does anyone really care?
David Carr looked at the roiling media landscape like an funny, affably gruff oracle ... with curiosity, concern and equanimity. A champion not of any particular journalistic form or medium, but of intelligence, integrity, wit and truth in journalism.
For so many other reasons, now would be a great time to interview David Carr. Indeed, we had hoped to have him appear on the program in the spring. Instead, we will remember him with fondness and respect.
Michael did have the opportunity to interview him in Toronto in 2012. David Carr was in Toronto for a special event sponsored by the Canadian Journalism Foundation. Here's that conversation.