Double Your Contribution During ‘Democracy in Action’

More than 200 years ago Thomas Jefferson said, “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.” And as our country prepares for this fall’s elections, that statement is more timely than ever.

As Idaho Public Television and PBS prepare to cover the 2020 elections and shine a light on our democracy in action, your active involvement and continued support are vital. 

Public media plays a critically important role in our democracy as a bastion of accurate, impartial information, providing clarity and context in a confusing world. We hope you’ll agree that supporting public media and the trusted, informative and unbiased reporting it provides is more critical now than ever before.

A generous group of statewide donors has created The 2020 Democracy in Action Matching Gift Fund.  These donors strongly believe in the power of public media and have created a fund to match all gifts received between now and October 31, up to $40,000! 

CLICK HERE to make a donation now, and your gift will be matched – so you can double your gift and double your impact!

This viewer comment from April perfectly captures the importance of public media’s role in journalism and the upcoming elections: 

“In these perilous times, public television is a beacon of hope, like a lighthouse revealing the breakers upon which this ship of state could wreck. I’ve watched my whole life and hope to continue living and watching.” – C. Wolfe, Boise

Sincere thanks to these statewide donors who made generous contributions to create The 2020 Democracy in Action Matching Gift Fund:

A.J. and Susie Balukoff

Anne Voillequé and Louise Nelson

Thomas and Marilyn Beck

Doug Oppenheimer

Carol Lloyd

Thank you!

CLICK HERE to contribute now, and double your gift to support this vital coverage of our American democracy in action!

Educators, Parents Invited to Online Screening of New Science-Themed Series

Join Idaho Public Television on Saturday, Aug. 29, at 10/9 a.m. Mountain/Pacific for an online preview of the new PBS KIDS program, Elinor Wonders Why.

The half-hour preview will be immediately followed by a discussion with Kari Wardle, IdahoPTV’s education manager; Gracy Ruddy, our PBS Early Learning Champion; and Joan Cartan-Hanson, the writer and producer of IdahoPTV’s award-winning program and website Science Trek.  The panelists will share strategies for parents and teachers to spark inquiry and ignite curiosity with children. Parents and teachers can type their questions in the chat bar during the program and throughout the panelist conversation for an interactive experience.

This free preview screening and discussion will be hosted on the interactive online streaming platform OVEE. To register for the event, and to access the screening on Aug. 29, click here.

About ‘Elinor Wonders Why’

The stories in Elinor Wonders Why center around Elinor and her friends Ari, a funny and imaginative bat, and Olive, a perceptive and warm elephant.

In each episode, Elinor models the foundational practices of science inquiry and engineering design — including her amazing powers of observation and willingness to ask questions and investigate. When she encounters something she doesn’t understand, like why birds have feathers or how tiny ants build massive anthills, she just can’t let it go until she figures it out. And in discovering the answers, Elinor often learns something about nature’s ingenious inventions and how they can connect to ideas in our designed world, and what it takes to live in a community. Elinor Wonders Why encourages children and parents to ask their own questions and experience the joy of discovery and understanding together.

Along with the television series, Elinor Wonders Why will offer digital content for kids, parents and teachers. Elinor Wonders Why games will be available on and on the free PBS KIDS Games app, along with clips and full episodes streaming across PBS KIDS’ video platforms, including the free PBS KIDS Video app.

An Elinor Wonders Why app will also launch after the series’ debut. Parent resources, including tips and hands-on activities to extend the learning at home, will be available on the PBS KIDS for Parents site, and PBS LearningMedia will offer classroom-ready materials for teachers, including video excerpts, games, teaching tips and printable activities.

Special Guests Featured in Online Screening of ‘Ahead of Her Time’

Join Idaho Public Television and Idaho Women in Leadership on Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 8 p.m. (Mountain time) for an online screening of the new Idaho Experience documentary “Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho.”

The half-hour screening will be immediately followed by a live Q and A with Emmy Award-winning documentarian Jennie Sue Weltner; Idaho Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb; Rebecca Scofield, Ph.D., assistant professor of twentieth-century American history at the University of Idaho; and NNU student leader Mariela Esquivel-Rodriguez. The discussion will be moderated by IdahoPTV producer Marcia Franklin, who did research and conducted interviews for the documentary.

The screening will be hosted here on the video streaming platform OVEE. Viewers can create an OVEE account (it’s free) and then participate in the screening and Q and A session through a computer or iPad with a strong internet connection.

The documentary will also air on Idaho Public Television (without the Q and A session) on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 8:30 p.m.

About “Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho”

In August, America celebrates 100 years of voting rights for women with the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. By 1920 women in Idaho had already been voting in — and winning — elections for 24 years. The documentary explores how Idaho became the fourth state to grant women voting rights.

“The fact that Idaho granted women the right to vote almost a quarter of a century before the rest of the nation is a pretty remarkable story and one that isn’t part of the national narrative about the history of women’s voting rights,” says independent documentary producer Jennie Sue Weltner. “Ahead of Her Time explores how and why it happened in Idaho and shines a light on some of the remarkable women who made it possible.”

In late 19th-century America, the idea of voting rights for women was radical and considered the most extreme social experiment since post-Civil War reconstruction.

“That Idaho was so ahead of the nation on women’s suffrage is a source of pride for our state and a cause for both celebration and exploration,” says Weltner.

Most of the history about women’s voting rights focuses on the East Coast. However, Western states were leading the way. Wyoming granted women the right to vote in 1870, followed by Colorado (1893), then Utah and Idaho, both in 1896. Utah and Washington states granted women the right to vote earlier, then revoked the privilege. After Idaho, it took another 14 years for a state to grant suffrage to women.

The reasons why Western states granted women the right to vote are complex — and Idaho is no exception. Religion, race, politics, paternalism and prohibition all factor into Idaho’s decision. 

Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho features regional historians and scholars on the subject and digs deep to uncover lost history. 

The documentary is a partnership between Idaho Public Television, Idaho Women in Leadership, and the Idaho State Historical Society as a legacy project for Idaho Women 100.  

Major funding for Idaho Experience is provided by the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Anne Voillequé and Louise Nelson, Judy and Steve Meyer, the Futura Corporation, the Richard K. and Shirley S. Hemingway Foundation, the Friends of Idaho Public Television, the Idaho Public Television Endowment and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Ahead of Her Time: Women’s Suffrage in Idaho was independently produced by Jennie Sue Weltner with funding provided by Idaho Women in Leadership, the Pottenger Family Foundation, Zions Bank, Idaho Power, and Midas Gold.

Additional resources:

Join Us From Anywhere for Online Screenings of These New Films

Idaho Public Television is launching a new virtual viewing and online discussion experience. This month, join us to watch new episodes of Idaho Experience on July 12 and Outdoor Idaho on July 13. Each screening is followed by conversations with the filmmakers, experts and special guests answering your questions.

These are free online events using the video streaming platform OVEEYou will need to sign up with OVEE (it’s free) and then all you need to participate is a computer or iPad with a strong internet connection. Before the event, you can click here to run a test to ensure OVEE works properly on your device.

Fall 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It remains a war without peer and is arguably the most documented in American history. Yet, the vast majority of that documentation has been produced by people from older generations.

Now, a group of Idaho State University honors students have co-authored Idaho in World War II, a book highlighting life in Idaho during that time and how the state played a vital role in the war.

Register here to attend a free OVEE screening of Idaho Experience “Through Youthful Eyes” and a Q&A with the producers: Sunday, July 12, at 6 PM Mountain Time.

As Idaho’s population increases, the space that separates humans from animals continues to shrink, and that has led to moments of wonder as well as problems for wildlife managers. To capture some of these moments, Outdoor Idaho reached out to people across the state for footage of their brief encounters with wildlife in their own backyards.

Register here to attend a free OVEE screening of Outdoor Idaho “Urban Wildlife” and a discussion with the filmmakers: Monday, July 13, at 7 PM Mountain Time.

“Idaho Public Television’s mission is to ‘harness the power of public media to encourage lifelong learning, connect our communities, and enrich the lives of all Idahoans,'” says Jenifer Johnson, IdahoPTV’s director of strategic fundraising. “We are launching these virtual events to reach out, connect and engage with others, even when we can’t be face-to-face.”

“We are using an online streaming platform called OVEE, which stands for Online Viewing and Engagement Experience. Created by the Independent Television Service, and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, OVEE is like a virtual theater that allows us to watch together and chat live with friends, fans, and experts. It’s all about quality video and quality conversations. When you register, you will be asked to create a profile on OVEE – which is free – and we’ll connect with you in that space, when the screening starts.”

Idaho Public Television plans to host at least one screening event monthly, so check our events page for announcements and registration links. Registration information is found at

Idaho Residents Document Urban Wildlife, World War II Era

New episodes of Outdoor Idaho and Idaho Experience in July meet Idaho residents whose videos and writing capture some unique aspects of life in our state.

“Urban Wildlife” on Outdoor Idaho

As Idaho’s population increases, the space that separates humans from animals continues to shrink, and that has led to problems for wildlife managers as well as moments of wonder. To capture some of these moments, Outdoor Idaho reached out to people across the state for footage of their brief encounters.

“I had no idea we would receive so much video from folks,” says producer Lauren Melink. “I figured we’d get a goose or two, but not mountain lions in the backyard. It’s really been incredible to see urban wildlife through the eyes of the people actually experiencing it firsthand, but it can also be unnerving when a mountain lion is peering through your window.”

Urban Wildlife airs Thursday, July 16, at 8 PM. Or stream it early on the PBS Video app or online beginning July 9.

According to the show’s host, Bruce Reichert, “In our 37 year history, we’ve never used so much video from other people. So it’s a great program to produce during a pandemic; we can maintain social distancing and still tell an interesting story.”

“Through Youthful Eyes” on Idaho Experience

Fall 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. It remains a war without peer and is arguably the most documented in American history. Yet, the vast majority of that documentation has been produced by people from older generations.

Now, a group of Idaho State University honors students have co-authored Idaho in World War II, a book highlighting life in Idaho during that time, and how the state played a vital role in the war.

Their professor, Dr. Alex Bolinger, is proud of how a group of millennials — Kathryn Rose, Sophia Perry, Dalene Hunter and Ashley French — approached such an important topic. “Not only is their research incredibly thorough, but they care … they want to connect to events that happened 75 years ago.”

Idaho Experience producer Forrest Burger is equally impressed. “It’s apparent these young women are excited to bring a youthful perspective to a war fought generations ago.”

Through Youthful Eyes airs Thursday, July 16, at 8:30 PM. Or stream it early on the PBS Video app or online beginning July 9.

Pacific Time Zone Viewers Will See Schedule Change on June 1

Beginning Monday, June 1, viewers in the Pacific time zone will see a one-hour shift in the broadcast schedule on our PLUS, WORLD, CREATE and PBS KIDS channels. Programs that currently broadcast at 7 p.m. on these four channels, for example, will begin broadcasting one hour later at 8 p.m. beginning June 1.

Programs on our main IDAHO channel, which made the one-hour time shift several years ago, will not be affected by the current change.

This change allows us to broadcast programs across all five of our channels at a consistent time throughout Idaho. It also allows us to simplify our online and print broadcast schedules — eliminating the confusion caused by our current split time designations (5 p.m. Mountain/4 p.m. Pacific, etc.).

Live events such as the governor’s press conferences, presidential State of the Union addresses, emergency broadcasts, etc. will continue to be broadcast in real time across both time zones.

‘Idaho Reports’ Now Available as a Podcast

Idaho Reports, the Northwest’s longest-running public policy show, has always kept you informed with the latest from the Idaho Legislature. This year we’ve expanded our coverage beyond the legislative session to bring you nightly updates on the coronavirus response in Idaho, Q&A sessions with Gov. Brad Little and public health professionals, and Friday round-ups of the week’s developments.

Now Idaho Reports is available on-the-go as a podcast.

You can now get all our Idaho Reports content in audio form on most major podcast players. That includes our Monday-Friday coronavirus updates, our half-hour Friday shows, our live Q&A specials with the governor, and all of our web extras.

You can find us on SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes, RadioPublic, and other popular podcast platforms. Search for Idaho Reports, subscribe and get our updates automatically on your feed.

We’ll continue to post videos on our Facebook and YouTube channels. This just gives folks even more flexibility in how they get our information.

Explore Idaho History Through Two Local Films

Two new documentary films from Idaho Public Television original series Outdoor Idaho and Idaho Experience examine the modern-day legacies of two very different moments in Idaho history.

Trailblazers airs Thursday, May 14, at 8 PM on Outdoor Idaho. Most modern-day “trailblazers” don’t work outside unless it’s their day off. They’re volunteers, but in the woods they look a lot like the nation’s original trailblazers, the Civilian Conservation Corp. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the public works program in 1933 to revive America during the Great Depression. With nearly 300 work camps in Idaho, the Gem State was the heart of the CCC.

“Trail work isn’t any easier today than it was a century ago. Some of the tools are the same and the intensity of the labor is definitely the same,” says Kris Millgate, Outdoor Idaho producer. “A lot of people aren’t interested in such an exhausting effort. We’re lucky here in Idaho to have so many people who are willing to dig in the dirt.”

That dedication to dirt is no longer inspired by the Depression. It’s motivated by access. Those cutting trail now make sure paths across public lands stay open, despite shrinking budgets, by working for free. 

Outdoor Idaho discovers how public lands are evolving from a network of trails once curated by the nation’s CCC to a labor of love tended by the many users of the dusty system. They are outfitters in the Palisades and trail runners around Pocatello. They are water bar builders out of Boise and mountain bikers in Salmon. There’s no paycheck for clearing the way. No pat on the sore back for maintaining access. And no recognition for work done before play. From past generations to those yet to come, they are Idaho’s trailblazers.

Remembering Bear River airs Thursday, May 14, at 8:30 PM on Idaho Experience. When independent filmmaker Phillip Schoen started out to document archeology work at the site of the Bear River Massacre, he had no inkling how challenging it would be to tell the story of what happened in January 1863 in what is now southeast Idaho.

“I got into it and realized it was a much bigger project than I had anticipated,” Schoen says. “So I just kept going and going, getting more and more stuff.”

There’s little left today at the place where 350 Shoshone people were killed in 1863 by army troops under the command of Col. Patrick Connor. It’s among the worst atrocities ever committed by federal troops against Native Americans, but the massacre is little known — and wasn’t even officially labeled a massacre until recent decades. Today, the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation is raising money to build a cultural and interpretive center there.

Phillip grew up in Victor, Idaho, and is a film student in California. He connected with Idaho Public Television, which uses its Idaho Experience series to give independent documentary makers a place to share their work about Idaho history. “I think what the film really comes down to is … how do we deal with our history? How do we deal with our past?” Schoen says. “Different people have different answers. The tribe feels one way about how we should remember this. And scientists feel totally another way about how we … understand what happened here. And so finding that balance, I think, is really what this film is about.”

Idaho Teacher Gabriel Garcia Named PBS Digital Innovator All-Star

Idaho Public Television is excited to announce that Gabriel Garcia, a teacher in the Boise School District, is one of 19 educators nationwide recognized as a PBS Digital Innovator All-Star. Garcia teaches video production at Capital High School and computer science at Riverglen Junior High School in Boise.

Each of the Digital Innovator All-Stars was selected from a cohort of extraordinary educators characterized by their ability to seamlessly integrate media and digital technology into their learning environments and to inspire students to use media and emerging technologies in responsible, effective and empowering ways.

Garcia was named Idaho’s PBS Digital Innovator in May 2019, which put him into consideration for the national All-Star honor. The PBS Digital Innovator All-Star program expands on these educators’ influential work, deepening their roles as leaders in integrating technology and digital media into the classroom — supporting students’ learning through increasingly important media literacy skills.

“PBS is honored to recognize these educators for the invaluable role they play in their communities,” says Sara Schapiro, Vice President of Education at PBS. “We have been especially proud of the work they continue to do in these unprecedented times, establishing new and innovative teaching techniques through distance learning, further solidifying the reasons they were distinguished as PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars.”

In partnership with Idaho Public Television, Garcia will spend the 2020-2021 school year deepening engagement among students, families, educators, schools and IdahoPTV education staff. As an exclusive part of the program, Garcia will have access to virtual and in-person events, including the PBS Digital Innovator All-Star Summit, to connect and learn with peers and station representatives from across the country.

The PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars were chosen based on a variety of criteria, including passion for their role as an educator, outcomes from their time as PBS Digital Innovators, connections to their communities and service to under-resourced families. The full list of the 2020 PBS Digital Innovator All-Stars can be found here.

‘Confronting Coronavirus’ PBS NewsHour Special Airs Thursday

It’s been less than three months since reports of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, first made international headlines. With worldwide cases  on every continent now except for Antarctica growing significantly every day, the World Health Organization has now declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Confronting Coronavirus: A PBS NewsHour Special which airs Thursday, March 19, at 7 PM will focus on health precautions for individuals and the public-at-large as well as the pandemic’s economic impact in both the United States and globally. The prime-time special, to be anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff, will include interviews with officials; reporting from NewsHour’s bench of special correspondents throughout the world; and a virtual town hall with curated questions from people across America, to be moderated by NewsHour correspondents Amna Nawaz and William Brangham.