MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison announces retirement
HELENA — After a more than three-decade career in journalism, MTN Chief Political Reporter Mike Dennison is hanging up his notepad and officially retiring.
Dennison joined MTN News in August 2015, after a 23-year career as a newspaper reporter covering Montana politics and state government, focusing on campaigns, the Legislature, health care, energy, the environment, and many other issues important to Montanans.
“You know I’ve really had more fun in my career than I could have ever expected and I just can’t say enough about the people I’ve worked with, all the sources who have talked to me over all these years,” said Dennison. “And all the support I’ve gotten from all the people it takes to put out the news. It’s not just one person, you’ve got everyone behind you every day and like I said it’s been more fun than I ever could have imagined.”
Originally from Seattle, Dennison came to Montana at age 20, to attend the University of Montana, not far from where his mom’s family has operated a ranch for more than 120 years, in the Potomac Valley. He graduated from UM with degrees in journalism and English in 1981 and joined the reporting staff of the Great Falls Tribune later that year.
After leaving the Tribune in 1982, he worked the next decade as a wire-service reporter in Helena, Seattle and Grand Junction, Colo., before returning to the Tribune as its Capitol Bureau chief in Helena in 1992.
He joined the Lee Newspapers State Bureau in Helena in 2005, covering politics for Lee’s newspapers in Billings, Missoula, Helena, Butte and Hamilton. He noted he couldn’t imagine a better place than Montana to cover the political scene.
Even though Dennison is retiring, he is confident in the state of political reporting in Montana.
“I think the state of political journalism in Montana is really pretty good,” he explained. “We’ve got way more reporters than we’ve had just a few years ago.”
Dennison leaves his post as MTN’s chief political reporter with some final remarks to the people who have watched and read his work over the years.
“I hope the people who have read me and watched me other the years have thought that I’ve been fair and accurate. But most of all, that they have seen what I’ve produced and become better informed,” Dennison explained. “I wanted to help people know why this story should matter to them, how it affects their family and how it affects their life.”
If you’d like to know more about his career you can also check out his book “Inside Montana Politics: A Reporter’s View from the Trenches.”