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. Frankie co-hosted Boise State Public Radio's first podcast, Speaking of Serial, which won an Idaho Press Club award. 

Frankie earned her production chops at American Public Media, where she interned for Marketplace Tech Report and American RadioWorks. She 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.

Idaho Statesman

Lake Coeur d’Alene is one of the most beautiful natural lakes in the northwest. The North Idaho body of water is home to flora and fauna and is an important place in the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s culture. It’s also home to many vacation homes and folks from around the world visit the lake each year to enjoy it’s recreational opportunities. 

AP Images / Steve Conner


Boise State University has a new athletic director and a new head football coach. And across the parking lot from the football stadium, the men’s basketball team is in the midst of what could be the most successful season in school history — while the women Broncos continue their winning record.  

Bogus Basin / via Facebook


The pandemic has changed so much when it comes to indoor hobbies. But as the virus has driven more folks outdoors, it’s opened up an opportunity for winter sports some people may have never tried before. Of course, skiing and snowboarding only works when the climate cooperates. So how are Idaho ski hills doing so far this winter and what does their snow picture mean for their bottom line? 

Jessica Hill / AP Images


As of Tuesday morning, the state reports 10,762 people have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in Idaho. With a population of more than 1.8 million people the state is a long way from reaching herd immunity against the virus. Even when folks are able to get the vaccine, will they choose to?

Diana Lachiondo, Facebook

Former Ada County Commissioner Diana Lachiondo lost her bid for re-election this fall, after taking controversial positions in her role on the Central District Health Board. Her critics said she was overreacting in her support for COVID-19 restrictions, while her supporters say she has become a victim of a hyper-partisan election where public health had become politicized. 

National Park Service


Humans are not the only mammals that get relief from hot temperatures with a cooling swim. According to a new study, female grizzlies seek out pools of water in warmer temperatures, especially lactating mother bears. As climate change creates longer periods of heat in the Mountain West, what can this research tell us about grizzly’s adaptability?  

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo


The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday for a historic second impeachment of President Trump, approving a single article of "inciting violence against the government of the United States.” So what are the political and legal implications of this?

LM Otero / AP Photo


Yesterday, one of Idaho’s biggest school districts returned to the virtual classroom after the holiday break. The Boise School District is home to nearly 25,000 students and about 4,500 employees. 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

It’s going to be a big year for Idaho lawmakers who are beginning the 2021 session today. They face important policy decisions to be made on things like education, infrastructure and taxes. At the same time, the state continues to battle the deadly COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over possible unrest surface after Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol last week.

John Minchillo / AP Photo

President Trump incited a violent mob of his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol after months of refusing to acknowledge he lost his bid for a second term. While Congress was in session to certify the fair election of Joe Biden to the presidency, rioters forced them to stop their work. 

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP Photo


Wednesday, a Trump supporter carried a Confederate flag — a symbol of hate and the Confederacy — through the halls of the U.S. Capitol during a violent insurrection. The stark visual came after President Trump incited right wing extremists to storm the building, breaking windows and doors, fighting with Capitol Police in order to force their way in.

Carolyn Kaster) / AP Photo


The U.S. might soon have its first Indigenous person to serve in a presidential administration. The nomination of Rep. Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) as President-elect Joe Biden's Director of Interior may be more than symbolic.


So far in Idaho, the new COVID-19 vaccine has gone to two priority groups: frontline health care workers and long-term care facility residents and staff. Senior homes are using pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS to administer the doses. 

But if you are not a member of one of these groups, you’re likely wondering when you'll be able to get the highly anticipated vaccine.


Peter Lovera / Treefort Music Fest


Embedded in the more than 5,000 page new COVID-19 relief bill is a provision to help support the flailing arts industry. The pandemic forced the temporary of stages in March across Idaho, putting venues, promoters and arts organizations in the most challenging financial position they’ve ever faced. 

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman


Today on Idaho Matters, we're sharing a special encore presentation of our July 6 conversation about policing in America and in Idaho.

Armando Franca / AP Images


Tom Davenport / AP Images


Today in a special encore presentation from Idaho Matters, we take a deep dive into the history of racism in the Gem State and what that history tells us about our present day reckoning with white supremacy. 


As 2020 wraps up, we're taking a moment to reflect on some of our favorite conversations from the year. In this Nov. 12 show, Idaho Matters spoke with three women lawmakers in Idaho to get their reaction to the news that Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) would soon be Vice President. As we look ahead to the incoming Biden Administration, we're revisiting this conversation. 

FCC / via Twitter


Rural communities are generally under-served by high-speed internet. Often, the costs of providing the service across open spaces cannot be recovered through a small number of subscriptions. Native communities are 26% less served by broadband internet compared to those living in rural areas outside of reservations. 

Rogelio V. Solis / AP Images


The first COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Idaho this week and has begun being administered to frontline health care workers. The state is still figuring out in what order different groups of people will receive the vaccine and when exactly that will be. But when your time comes to access the vaccine, will you do so?