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.

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman


(This interview is the first of a two-part show about policing in Idaho. You can find the second half — on defunding the police — here.)

After the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May, people around the country been asking tough questions about policing in America  including in Idaho. 

The Latino Card


Journalism, broadcasting and podcasting in Idaho has a big problem. The overwhelming majority of reporters, hosts and producers speak from one perspective: whiteness. 

Father Bruno Segatta via Facebook


Note: the following text and audio contains discussions of sexual assault. 

It’s been nearly three decades since Lisa Howser first came forward with allegations of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest at Gonzaga University in Spokane. 


Note: the following story contains a mention of self-harm.

In May, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request by the State of Idaho, the latest turn in a potentially precedent-setting case that could change the medical treatment some transgender inmates receive. Now the plaintiff, named Adree Edmo, is set to undergo gender confirmation surgery in July. if that happens, she’ll make history. 

Lauren McLean / via Facebook


In the wake of the Central District Health Department's order to pull Ada County back to Stage 3 restrictions due to a recent eruption of COVID-19 cases, Boise Mayor Lauren McLean issued a separate public health order for the City of Boise, intended to remain in effect for at least 30 days.

Rebecca Boone / AP Images


Advocates of an initiative to increase education funding in the state are having their day in court this afternoon. The group, called Reclaim Idaho, is responsible for the successful push to expand Medicaid in 2018. But when they turned their attention to education funding, they had no idea that a disease called COVID-19 would be a thing in 2020. 

Madelyn Beck / Boise State Public Radio


As the movement for racial justice presses on in Idaho and across the country, we’re hearing from people of color in the Mountain West who feel like this moment is long overdue. 

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio


Over the weekend, folks gathered at the Idaho Statehouse steps to hold a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. But this protest had a very specific angle: health care and its connection to systemic racismc

Conor Mullen


Protests against racism and police brutality are not new to the U.S. or to our region. However, large, sustained turnout, especially in small, mostly-white towns, is something we’ve not seen before. For many of those protestors, it’s been their first time demonstrating—ever.

Phillip Thompson


Today is the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth. The holiday commemorates the freedom of the last slaves in the nation, as news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally made its way to slaves in Texas two years after President Lincoln’s speech. This year, as calls for racial justice and an end to systemic racism ring across the country, the day has special significance to one Idaho family. 

capitol, statehouse, idaho
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio


On Saturday in Boise, a group of health care workers are planning to gather at the capitol steps for a rally in support of Black Lives Matter. Speakers are set to address the connection between systemic racism and medical care in the United States. 

Armando Franca / AP Images


The recent police killings of Black people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others have sparked a movement unlike any in recent memory, as calls to defund the police and dismantle white supremacy have moved into the mainstream. 

Susan Walsh / AP Images


The coronavirus lockdown created many burdens for working mothers. Research is showing they have taken on a disproportionate share of day care, home schooling and housework. 

British Red Cross / Flickr Creative Commons


Idaho has gone a week without a resident of our state dying from COVID-19. But, the disease is still spreading in Idaho, and by best estimates we are months away from a vaccine or cure. With the state now in reopening phase three of four, it’s sometimes hard to remember we are still only a few months into this pandemic. 

Madelyn Beck / Mountain West News Bureau

A couple hundred people gathered to protest racism and police violence in Missoula, Montana last Friday. It looked and sounded like a usual rally. 

Elaine Thompson / AP Images


Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago, protests demanding an end to police brutality and racial injustice have swelled across the country. Of course, the right to peacefully assemble and petition the government are both protected rights under the First Amendment.

Luca Bruno / AP Images


Since the coronavirus first started spreading in Idaho, one concern for both the public and health officials has been the protection of folks who live in nursing homes. But as March turned to April and then to May, the state remained tight-lipped about exactly how many cases of COVID-19 exist in which facilities. 

Sun Valley Institute

At one point this spring, Blaine County was one of the hardest-hit areas in the country for coronavirus infections. The area, which draws tourists from around the world for both its recreational and arts opportunities, was forced to close. The area’s shops, restaurants, hotels and arts centers went into hibernation as health officials worked to control the spread.

College of Southern Idaho


Idaho’s higher education community has been rocked by the pandemic. In the middle of the semester, classes moved to distance learning and students and professors alike were forced to get used to a “new normal.” 

Cathleen Allison / AP Photo


If you want to protect a species, understanding and protecting their habitat is essential. In Idaho, one of the creatures at risk of extinction is the sage grouse, named after the landscape they rely on for food and shelter. The science that’s conducted in the sage brush sea can inform the policy decisions by land managers at the Interior Department, and can protect hundreds of other species at the same time. 

Heath Druzin / Boise State Public Radio


Last night, thousands of Idahoans came together on the Capitol steps in Boise to mourn the lives of Black people killed at the hands of police. And while crowds were gathered outside the statehouse exercising their right to assemble, election officials were inside the building administering the first vote-by-mail election in Idaho. 

Madelyn Beck / Boise State Public Radio


For the last week, protests have been held across the United States over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died at the hands of white police in Minneapolis last Monday. All four officers involved were fired after the killing but only one former officer has been charged in connecton with his death. 

Dryland Doggs LLC/Facebook

Americans love their dogs. Now, with many people working from home to fight the coronavirus, our canine friends have taken center stage. 

Crush the Curve


When it comes to keeping Idaho's agriculture sector strong during the pandemic, Latino workers have been essential. Without them, there would be significant disruption in Idaho's food production industry: crops would go unharvested, food would expire and never reach stores.

But while Idaho's food system relies on these workers, are there systems in place to keep these workers safe and healthy?

Ted S. Warren / AP Images


Idaho Matters is back with our panel of Idaho doctors to answer more of your COVID-19 questions. This week, they cover questions about a rapid coronavirus diagnostic test that has come under scrutiny, Idaho's low testing rate per capita, possible longterm effects of severe cases of the virus, symptoms to watch for in your children and much more.