As you might have heard, the Lee newspaper chain, which publishes most of Montana’s larger papers, is closing its state bureau in Helena. Chuck Johnson and Mike Dennison, the two veteran reporters who staff the bureau, are leaving the company. The news stunned many Montanans who follow politics. Johnson and Dennison have been honored with blog posts on the internet and speeches on the floor of the U. S. Senate.
Recently I sat down with Chuck Johnson in his Helena office to talk about his 43 years covering the state of Montana, starting with how he found out it was coming to an end.