On Thursday night, The New York Times announced that longtime media columnist David Carr had died suddenly at the age of 58. Immediately, social media users flooded Twitter with messages of mourning.
Carr covered media for 25 years, joining The Times in 2002. In 2011, he was featured in Page One, a documentary about The Times. In 2009, Carr’s memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” in which he detailed his own experiences fighting drug addiction and starting his life anew after getting clean, was published.
Carr frequently offered advice to young journalists, and after his death, Twitter users resurfaced a 2013 Reddit Q&A with Carr. In it, one Reddit user asked Carr for the best journalism advice he’d ever received. Carr replied simply: “Keep typing until it turns into writing.”
As of Friday morning, more than 100,000 tweets were posted about Carr and tributes continued to pour in. Journalists and non-journalists alike described him as “an extraordinary journalist,” “fearless, curious, humane, wise, kind,” “one of the finest journalists and one of the best human beings,” and “the soul and the wit of the Times.”
Carr himself was also a prolific user of Twitter. He had more than 468,000 Twitter followers and had posted almost 30,000 tweets since joining the social media platform in 2009. In 2010, he wrote a column about his first year of using Twitter, entitled “Why Twitter Will Endure.” In it, he wrote: “Nearly a year in, I’ve come to understand that the real value of the service is listening to a wired collective voice … At first, Twitter can be overwhelming, but think of it as a river of data rushing past that I dip a cup into every once in a while.” It seems fitting that “David Carr” raced to the top of Twitter’s U.S. trending topics on Thursday night, and remained there on Friday morning.