Crucible Episodes (old)


Episode 39: Through a Reporter's Eyes: Chuck Johnson Views 1970s Montana Government & Politics - In the Crucible of Change

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2015

Streaming Media


It has been said that “journalism is the first rough draft of history.” If that be the case, much of Montana’s history since 1970 was first written by Chuck Johnson. He has covered the activities of 20 regular sessions of the Legislature plus an untold number of Special Sessions, the Constitutional Convention, nine Governors, eight US Senators and seven US Congressmen. Primary elections, general elections, state and national Party Conventions have been seen by Montanans through Johnson’s prism. Big and little news about policy, insights about politics, and a sense of the people behind the news (and history) has flowed from Chuck Johnson’s pen.

Johnson’s first decade as a journalist coincides substantially with the period of “In the Crucible of Change.” Having been one of those who wrote the first draft of much of the history in the series “In the Crucible of Change,” and as “Dean of Montana’s Capitol Reporters,” Chuck’s reflections and insights about the period are conveyed in this film with a maturity and understanding that can only come from one who has spent decades honing is craft to perfection.