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.

Kate Talerico / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Matters is continuing our "Growing Pains" series on growth and affordability issues facing the Treasure Valley, one of the fastest growing places in the country. Today, we’re spending time in Canyon County to better understand how cities like Nampa and Caldwell are approaching this topic.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

We are continuing our "Growing Pains" series on growth and affordability in the Treasure Valley with a trip to Canyon County. The county has the largest Latino population in the state, and members of the community are essential to the agriculture industry in the region. So how are the issues of rising home prices and rapid growth affecting this community?

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

We know housing prices have gone up rapidly in Ada County in recent years. In Canyon County, folks are also feeling the squeeze. So what does that mean for people looking to purchase their first home in the Treasure Valley? Especially for Millennials — who have gone through two historic recessions in young adulthood — buying a home can be out of reach in this very popular market.

filmfort, treefort, film, flicks
Matthew Wordell / Treefort 2016


Boise’s Treefort Music Festival is postponed until September 2020. But while we wait, “Filmfort,” Treefort’s film festival, is hosting a mini fest this weekend

Katherine Jones / Idaho Statesman


Alhough a lot of attention is paid to the growth Boise has seen in recent years, the prize for the fastest growing city in Idaho belongs to its neighbor to the west: Meridian. As family farms have turned into single family homes and retail space, the community's identity has shifted with the growth. Perhaps one of the best examples of the rapid change in Meridian is located at the intersection of Eagle and Fairview roads.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


As part of our "Growing Pains" series on Idaho Matters, today we’re looking west to Idaho’s fastest growing city: Meridian. What used to be a quiet bedroom community with homes spread out between family farms has become the second largest city in the state. Meridian has outpaced estimates and tripled in size in the last 20 years. 

MICHAEL LYCKLAMA / Idaho Statesman


As Meridian's population swelled in recent years, that’s created some challenges for what is now the largest school district in the state: the West Ada School District. Schools are overflowing with students while the district looks to taxpayer funded bonds and levies for support. 


Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


Eric Risberg / AP Photo


Dollar for dollar, American women make a fraction of what men make in the workplace. But lower pay is not the only thing that affects the financial security of women. According to new research, equity based awards are given out differently to female employees at tech startups.

Charles Sykes / Invision/AP


Latino USA is an award-winning public radio show led by journalist Maria Hinojosa, which is celebrating its 25th year as an hour-long program. Boise State Public Radio is proud to announce we’re adding Latino USA to our lineup. 

Ted S. Warren / AP Images


This interview originally aired Apr. 23, 2020.


David Goldman / AP Images


The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll, not just on people’s physical health, but also their mental health.

Boise Parks & Recreation / via Facebook


As the coronavirus forced people inside this spring and asked them to isolate themselves at home, in some case from loved ones and friends, experts across the country raised concerns about the possible mental health crisis to come. In Idaho, pre-existing rates of suicide put folks here on high alert for an increase in anxiety, depression and other disorders.

screenshot / via AirNow


For folks in the fire science world, the smoke that has engulfed most of the western United States is not surprising. As climate change, years of poor forest management and home development practices come to a head, this could be the new normal in the West. But what no one could predict before 2020 was how a global pandemic would exacerbate the health effects of wildfire smoke.


Margaret Carmel / Boise Dev


As wages in Boise struggle to keep pace with rising rent costs and businesses lay off more employees due to COVID-19, more people are facing homelessness. Some are seeking shelter in their recreation vehicles and campers. That issue has come into sharper focus as the pandemic has changed how and where folks experiencing homelessness spend their days and nights.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio


This interview originally aired Apr. 27, 2020.

When the coronavirus began to spread in Idaho in March, folks who could retreated to their homes. But even with the governor’s stay-at-home order, getting outside for walks is something elected officials and health experts encourage folks to do. That inspired Boise artist Wendy Blickenstaff.

Otto Kitsinger / Idaho Statesman


A growing list of arts, history and culture institutions, including the Boise PhilharmonicIdaho Botanical GardenOpera Idaho and Treefort Music Fest, are committing to action steps within their own organizations as part of a greater community-wide effort to effect change to systemic racism.

Elaine Thompson / AP Images



This interview originally aired July 14, 2020. 

David Staats / Idaho Statesman

Idaho Power / via Facebook


Idaho Fish & Game / Flickr Creative Commons


When white settlers took land from what is now known as the Coeur d’Alene Tribe in North Idaho, the oral history of the land and its people was put in danger. Now, there’s a new effort to connect tribal youth with their elders through language and storytelling, incorporating indigenous knowledge of the environment with science. 

DARIN OSWALD / Idaho Statesman

In the last couple of weeks Idaho has seen a downward trend in new coronavirus cases, but August is barely in the rearview and was the state's deadliest month so far. At the same time, the Lewiston Tribune is reporting a spike in cases on the Nez Perce Reservation as K-12 schools reopen in various forms across the state, and universities try to keep campuses safe. Ahead of the Labor Day weekend doctors caution against letting down our guard against the disease.