Wyoming Public Media is pleased to announce a new season of its Edward R. Murrow Award-winning podcast, The Modern West. Selected for Boston-based PRX's innovative podcast accelerator, Project Catapult, The Modern West has spent the past year undergoing development alongside podcasts from six other public media stations from around the country.
Season 2, Ghost Town(ing), is a multi-part exploration of rural decline and resilience, told through the lens of Walden, Colo., the host's hometown. Along the way, the series visits Old West ghost towns and present-day ghost towns in the making, asking, why does it matter if America's small towns disappear?
In Ghost Town(ing) Part 1: "You Can't Eat The View," host Melodie Edwards introduces Walden-and her childhood memories of it as a once-thriving small town-and listeners meet her parents, who are grappling with the question of whether to stay and support their beloved community or leave for a larger town that offers easier access to health care. The episode hints at themes that will be explored in upcoming episodes of the series, like the Western boom-bust economy, healthcare access, the millionaire effect, and rural despair.
While Ghost Town(ing) takes an unflinching look at the challenges the rural West is facing, it is also finding signs of the can-do spirit and resilience. As it explores the evolving identity of the American West, The Modern West is discovering that not all small towns are willing to fade into the prairie.
"Podcasts are the fastest growing platform in public radio, and a super effective way to reach global audiences. The Modern West is one of Wyoming's strongest ambassadors," says Christina Kuzmych, Wyoming Public Media General Manager.