Bill Minor, whose courageous reporting helped open Americans’ eyes to everyday racial discrimination in the South in the 1960s and won him recognition as the “conscience of Mississippi,” died on Tuesday in Ridgeland, Miss., outside Jackson. He was 94.

His death, at a hospice, was confirmed by his son Paul.

Mr. Minor was already a fiercely independent and fearless muckraker, exposing corrupt Mississippi politicians in The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, when his news articles and commentary emerged as the region’s lonely but conspicuous witness to the fledgling civil rights movement and the brutal efforts by Southern politicians to suppress it.

His voice not only traveled from the newspaper’s bureau at the state capitol in Jackson to neighboring Louisiana, but also reverberated nationwide. While serving as The Times-Picayune’s capital correspondent, Mr. Minor was also a stringer, or part-time reporter, for The New York Times and Newsweek magazine.

“No Southern newspaperman has done more for civil rights and civil liberties than Bill Minor,” Claude Sitton, another son of the South who covered the movement for The Times, once said. Historians have credited Mr. Sitton, who died in 2015, and another Times colleague, John Herbers, who died this month, with playing major roles in reporting the civil rights struggle.

Gene Roberts, who succeeded Mr. Sitton and was The Times’s chief correspondent in the South, said in a phone interview on Tuesday: “It would be hard to overestimate Bill’s importance to journalism and to keeping the country abreast of what was going on in Mississippi. When you had to barrel quickly into Mississippi, your first stop would be Bill Minor.”

Ellen Ann Fentress, who recently completed a documentary film about Mr. Minor titled — like his weekly column — “Eyes on Mississippi,” called him “the most essential reporter the nation has never heard of.”

Mr. Minor’s first assignment in Jackson was the funeral of Theodore G. Bilbo, a United States senator from Mississippi and an unabashed white supremacist who died in 1947. As Mr. Minor later recalled, he thought at the time that segregation might be buried with Bilbo.

As it endured, Mr. Minor covered every benchmark along the way: the revolt of the Dixiecrats in the 1948 presidential election; the 1955 murder trial of two white men in the death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black boy who was said to have whistled at a white woman; James Meredith’s enrollment as the first black student at the University of Mississippi in 1962; the Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-in and the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963; and the murder of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, Miss., in 1964.

“Even before there was a movement in civil rights, Minor exposed wide racial disparities in the allocation of state funds for schools; in doing so, of course, he debunked the myth of ‘separate but equal’ schools,” said Hank Klibanoff, who wrote “The Race Beat: The Press, the Civil Rights Struggle, and the Awakening of a Nation” (2006) with Mr. Roberts.

Hodding Carter III, a fellow Mississippi journalist and later an assistant secretary of state, said in a phone interview that Mr. Minor’s understanding of the perniciousness of legal segregation had evolved. “But,” Mr. Carter added, “his evolution, in the face of the society he was covering, looked like a revolution.”

Wilson Floyd Minor was born on May 17, 1922, in Hammond, La., which Mr. Carter, whose father was also born there, said “was not a place that taught you to give a damn about black folks.”

His mother was the former Josie Clement. His father, Jacob, was a newspaper Linotype operator who struggled during the Depression and urged his son to shun journalism.

But Bill was hooked early when an English teacher at Bogalusa High School praised his writing. He landed a summer job with The Bogalusa Enterprise, began covering high school sports for The Times-Picayune and graduated from Tulane University in 1943 with a degree in journalism.

In addition to his son Paul, he is survived by his wife, the former Gloria Marks; two other sons, Doug and Dr. Jeffrey Minor; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Mr. Minor joined The Times-Picayune after serving in the Navy as a gunnery officer on a destroyer in the Pacific during World War II. He worked at the paper for nearly 30 years, until it shut its Jackson bureau in 1976.

Afterward he bought what became the weekly Capitol Reporter in Jackson and edited it until it closed in 1981. (The paper had lost bank advertising after he revealed that the police had found several pounds of marijuana at the bank president’s home.) He later wrote a weekly syndicated column and a book, “Eyes on Mississippi: A Fifty-Year Chronicle of Change” (2001).

In 1997, Columbia University gave Mr. Minor its John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism.

The author David Halberstam, who began his journalistic career in Mississippi, described Mr. Minor as “the unique conscience of the state.” Colleagues attributed his deep-seated empathy to his family’s struggles during the Depression and to his convictions as a Roman Catholic. (In 1963, after he saw black protesters being savagely beaten in Jackson, he retreated to St. Peter’s Cathedral to pray for reason and calm.)

“Somewhere along the way, I developed this feeling for the underdog because I was part of that underdog world,” Mr. Minor told students at a predominantly black high school in 1997. “I knew what it was like to be on the bottom.”

After the civil rights protests in the South ebbed, “only Minor stayed,” Mr. Klibanoff wrote in 1997, “continuing to turn up fresh stories in the old soil of the new South.”

Mr. Minor’s wife wanted to leave the state years ago, but he remained, he told Mr. Klibanoff, because “I saw there was hope there, that Mississippi would change.”

“There was always this warmth and gentleness on the part of the people of Mississippi,” he continued, as quoted by Mr. Klibanoff, “and their greatest handicap has always been politicians who provided no leadership and who thrived on the emotional issue of segregation. And the more I saw of those kind of people, you know, pushed in the background, the more hope I had for the state.

“So I wanted to stay. I wanted to see how it was all going to come out.”