Senators Tester and Daines pay tribute to political reporter Chuck Johnson

Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines honored the career of Montana political reporter Chuck Johnson.

After news broke that Lee Enterprises would be closing its State Bureau, and veteran reporter Johnson would be retiring, Tester and Daines paid tribute in a floor speech to Johnson’s distinguished career.

“It’s his integrity, commitment to the truth and fair reporting that has earned the respect of politicians and readers alike from both sides of the aisle,” Tester said. “As Chuck leaves political journalism, he leaves a giant hole that will be difficult, if not impossible, to fill.”

“If it has to do with Montana politics, Chuck has probably covered it,” Daines said. “Montana is saying farewell to a talented and dedicated reporter whose depth of knowledge and lifetime of experience will be hard to replace and whose byline on newspaper stories across Montana will be greatly missed.”

Johnson got his start reporting on Montana politics in 1972 when he was assigned to cover the drafting of Montana’s Constitution for the Associated Press. He then went on to work for the Missoulian and the Great Falls Tribune. In 1992, Johnson took a job with Lee Enterprises at their State Bureau writing for the Billings Gazette, Missoulian, Ravalli Republic, Helena Independent Record and Montana Standard.

As an advocate for transparent government, Johnson was instrumental in opening up Montana’s political caucuses to the press.