Arkansas open records advocate, journalist McCord dies

From SFGate:

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Robert "Bob" McCord, a journalist who helped craft Arkansas' open records law and spent decades defending it, has died. He was 84.


McCord retired as an editor at the Arkansas Gazette prior to its acquisition by the Arkansas Democrat in 1992 and, for years, owned the North Little Rock Times.

In an article posted at, McCord noted that the Arkansas Constitution of 1874 gave legislators free rein to conduct business out of the public eye. The document said, "The sessions of each house and of committees of the whole shall be open unless when the business is such as ought to be kept secret."

Passage of the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act in 1967 put an end to the practice, McCord wrote.