RTDNA member, ethicist Forrest Carr passes away

February 3, 2016 03:30

Longtime news director, RTDNA member and editorial contributor Forrest Carr has died, after a lengthy battle with cancer. The Tucson Sentinel reported the news.

In a long and successful career, Carr was a mentor to thousands of journalists, not only in his newsrooms; KGUN-TV in Tucson, WFLA in Tampa, FL, WFTX in Ft. Myers, FL, and KRQE in Albuquerque, NM, or in his role as an ethics fellow at the Poynter Institute, but to readers of the print version of the RTDNA Communicator Magazine and this website.

He is perhaps best known for launching the innovative "Viewers' Bill of Rights," while at KGUN. Publications like Harvard's Nieman Reports, Poynter, and AdWeek wrote about the concept, where he explained how his newsrooms would cover their communities responsibly.

Using an example of a situation at a Idaho television station, Carr wrote for RTDNA about the importance of true viewer advocacy. He also wrote eloquently about the importance of accuracy, responding to viewers, the ethics of social media, the responsibilities of reporters, how news directors should support their teams and much more.

After leaving television three years ago to write books and work on a local radio show in Arizona, Carr also chronicled his cancer battle on his blog, The Bashful Bloviator. He continued to write about journalism and other topics that interested him, as well as updating friends on his health, giving an honest and unblinking account of its challenges.

“Forrest was one of RTDNA’s most accomplished contributors. His posts were sharp, thoughtful and made you think carefully about what you did in this business and how you did it," said RTDNA Executive Director Mike Cavender. "He was a great friend and colleague and one we will miss greatly.”