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A bit of background about Pennsylvania open records and John V.R. Bull

After the YDR won its fifth statewide award for its open records efforts, I emailed the award’s namesake with a word of thanks.

John V.R. Bull was one of the state’s foremost advocates of open records for years as an editor with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a friend and mentor. He took interest in young journalists, and when our paths crossed, he always took interest in how we were doing.

So, I sent John, now enjoying retirement, a note with a word of thanks.

An adapted form of my letter follows:

“John, Wanted to let you know we thought about you and your many contributions to Pa. and American journalism this weekend.

“We were fortunate to win the John V.R. Bull award from PNA for our open records work.

“So, some of the good stuff you started with First Amendment Coalition, the Philadelphia Inquirer et al lives on.

“This is the 5th time we’ve won the Bull award since 2002, which, I believe, was the first time it was awarded.

“Not that we’re counting.

“But we enjoy winning it. It recognizes unsung, but down in the trenches ‘smash-a-mouth’ journalism. Scott Blanchard is the champion of that journalism here (but is by no means alone.) And you’d be interested to know he’s on the PSNE board… .

“Just wanted you to know that you and your contributions are remembered and appreciated.”