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On this week’s episode of the Montana Lowdown, veteran political reporter and broadcast journalist Mike Dennison discusses his new book, “Inside Montana Politics: A Reporter’s View from the Trenches.”
Dennison has covered political campaigns, the Legislature, health care, energy, the environment, and other issues for more than three decades.
“Inside Montana Politics” is a fascinating read for anyone with an interest in Montana history, and Dennison brings a cast of notable characters to life by revealing the personalities behind the headlines.
“I like to inject a little humanity in my reporting and think about the people that you’re reporting on, and that they’re trying to do the right thing, even when they may be doing the wrong thing,” Dennison said. “These are people that have husbands and wives and kids and friends. They’re not just the demon that their opponents make them out to be.
“What I tried to show in my book and in my reporting is that these people are human, and when they screw up and make mistakes, we’ll report on it. But we’ll also report that sometimes they have good intentions and sometimes they do the right thing.”
Dennison also reflects on some of his more memorable Montana bylines, including stories on deregulation, the rise of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer, the fall of former Sen. Conrad Burns, the exoneration of Cody Marble, and more.
Dennison also weighs in on the current state of journalism:
“We have a proliferation of news outlets that are biased. They start from a point of view, and that’s what they adopt. And I think the most bias I see in any journalist is the choice in what you cover. Not how you cover it, but what you cover.”Dennison’s new book is available now from local and national retailers, and he continues to report as a broadcast journalist for MTN News.