Frankie Barnhill

Idaho Matters Senior Producer

Frankie Barnhill is the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast. She's always interested in hearing surprising and enlightening stories about life in the West. Have an idea for Idaho Matters? Drop her a line! 

She's also the host and producer of Wanna Know Idaho, Idaho's audience-powered podcast. 

Frankie's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition. The award-winning journalist has received national accolades from the Public Radio News Directors Incorporated for breaking news reporting, as well as regional Edward R. Murrow awards for both hard news and features. She co-hosted Boise State Public Radio's first podcast, Speaking of Serial, which won an Idaho Press Club award. 

She earned her production chops at American Public Media, where she interned for Marketplace Tech Report and American RadioWorks. Frankie was also a researcher in Minnesota Public Radio's newsroom for an investigative report on bullying.

As a freelance reporter in 2014, Frankie won a grant to profile five emerging artists for Boise State Public Radio's audience. The project, entitled "Artist Statement," was an exploration of Boise's burgeoning artistic scene.

Frankie was a fellow with the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources in 2013 and again in 2015 and 2018, where she began to hone her environmental reporting skills.

Frankie graduated from the College of St. Catherine with a degree in English literature. The Missoula native spends most of her free time dreaming about owning a dog someday, going to concerts and serving on the board of Story Story Night.

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio


To battle the coronavirus pandemic, many state governments are ordering residents to shelter in place. But that’s creating a rift in some anti-government circles. 

Anna King / Northwest News Network


Among the essential services remaining open during COVID-19 shutdowns are grocery stores, hospitals, and… livestock auctions. The Mountain West News Bureau's Madelyn Beck recently reported on this and joins Idaho Matters

US Census Bureau

Door-to-door census takers are a hallmark of the once-a-decade national survey. But that goes against the social distancing and isolation orders more and more states—including Idaho—are implementing. Even under these extraordinary circumstances, the U.S. census will be carried out this spring and summer. 

James Dawson / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s May 19 election will be held entirely by absentee ballot to avoid spreading COVID-19. And with large events being shut down and door-to-door canvassing potentially hazardous, ballot initiative organizers in many states are having to completely shut down their campaigns. 


Sarah_Ackerman / Flickr

Running out of things to do all cooped up at home? You’re in luck: Boise State Public Radio's Morning Edition host (and resident film critic) George Prentice joins Idaho Matters to share his suggestions for must-see movies to watch in quarantine. 

Idaho Statesman

Governor Brad Little’s stay home order banned discretionary travel, but some rural communities are still frustrated with visitors coming into their towns. For folks in towns like McCall and Riggins, this influx of visitors is dangerous. 

New Jersey National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons


Blaine County has been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19. Fourteen of the region's medical personnel -- including two emergency room doctors -- have contracted the virus. 

Seniors set to graduate this spring at Boise State University will not get the chance to walk across stage. University officials announced Wednesday they’re preparing for a digital commencement ceremony in May. Frankie Barnhill has more.


Rachel / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho Matters is working on a story about how families are dealing with school closures during the coronavirus outbreak. And we need your help! 

Raed Mansour / Flickr Creative Commons


Extended social isolation. Layoffs. A run on firearms. These are indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are also conditions that have suicide experts worried about at-risk Americans. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Images


Last week, we asked health leaders your questions about coronavirus. But there were so many good questions, we didn’t get a chance to answer them all. 


So Idaho Matters is back this week with Dr. Dave Pate, the former CEO of St. Lukes and a current member of the governor’s Coronavirus Task Force. 


Read the full interview here:

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman


We know it’s important to bring you conversations with elected leaders making crucial and tough decisions during this time. Idaho Gov. Brad Little joins Idaho Matters today to talk about how the state is working to control the pandemic. 

senate, legislature, capitol
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio


In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak in Idaho, the state legislature adjourned last week after a turbulent session. 

coronavirus, covid-19, corona, idahocovid19
Troy Oppie / Boise State Public Radio


Boise State Public Radio Reporters Troy Oppie and Rachel Cohen join Idaho Matters today to give us the latest on the hard-hit service industries in Idaho as restaurants and bars close, and others try to stay open for dine-in or take-out service. 


We’ll learn from them about how different cities and their businesses are dealing with what looks to be a prolonged economic downturn.

Bittercreek Alehouse / via Facebook


NOTE: Since news broke during this interview on Idaho Matters that Boise Mayor Lauren McLean planned to announce restrictions on restaurants and bars in light of COVID-19, more details have emerged. In a press conference at 2:45 p.m., McLean detailed restrictions on restaurants and bars beginning at midnight Thursday. All dine-in restaurant options will close in the Capital City for 30 days, while pick-up, drive-thru and delivery options can remain open if those businesses choose. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Images


We've asked you to submit any questions you have about Coronavirus in Idaho, and you stepped up. With news (and mis-information) coming out every hour, it’s more important than ever that we provide the most up-to-date and accurate information. 

Sun Valley Film Festival / via Facebook


Idaho Matters considers the economic impacts Idaho is already seeing because of the spread of Coronavirus. 

Lancey / Flickr Creative Commons

Private prisons are often touted as a good source of jobs and economic prosperity for communities. But how do those jobs compare to the ones in government-run facilities? 


Treefort Music Fest was set to kick off next week. The 5-day multi-genre festival usually happens right after SXSW in Austin and brings 20,000 fans of music, technology, film, yoga and more to downtown Boise. 

Wikimedia Commons


Over the next few days, the Mountain West News Bureau is exploring the private prison industry in our region. 

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman


Transgender Idahoans have come under fire at the State Capitol this year — and in particular — transgender athletes. 

Janet Pritchard

This interview originally aired Dec. 18, 2019. 


Most people today will walk around with a smartphone in their pocket, giving people access to worldwide communication, internet access, and computing power that was unfathomable even 20 years ago. However, smartphones have also given access to high quality cameras to everyone. Mountain West News Bureau reporter Madelyn Beck investigates the impact of this technological improvements on the photography industry.

Eric Follet

The James Castle House hosts artists of various backgrounds around the year. Named after the self-taught artist who lived in the home in the early to mid-20th century, the house allows current-day writers, painters, sculptors and more to break away from their daily return and focus deeply on a project. 

Bamboo and Barbed Wire / Facebook

The internment of Japanese Americans in Idaho during World War II is a dark part of our history that’s inspired art and social criticism. This Thursday and Sunday, the Idaho State Museum in Boise will screen a documentary, called “Bamboo and Barbed Wire,” on the Minidoka camp in South Central Idaho.


Molly Messick / StateImpact


In January, Idaho state lawmakers debated a bill that would have allowed more sexual assault survivors to get protection orders against their assailants. The bill, introduced by Democratic representative Melissa Wintrow, died after lobbying from the National Rifle Association.