This is a paid release.
Big stories from the small places we call home
WKMS announces the launch of its new podcast series called Middle of Everywhere. Sharing big stories from the small places we call home, the podcast focuses on life in rural America, an often overlooked geographic region for news and entertainment. Episodes provide a connection for those who have left, but still identify with small towns, and explore the growing appeal of living in rural communities. Fans of the popular podcast This American Life will find a similar narrative storytelling sound with Middle of Everywhere.
A production from WKMS, as part of PRX’s Project Catapult, Middle of Everywhere’s first season features stories and people from across Kentucky. From a mystical healing stone, to a ninth-generation farmer battling an insurance company for his beliefs, hosts Ariel Lavery and Austin Carter explore some folklore of the Bluegrass State, bust some stereotypes, and share what’s motivating people in these communities.
“I am driven to collect the stories and histories of rural folk, the people who, in some ways, have the most immediate connection to our history as a country,” Lavery said.
The first episode, “The Mystical Ellis Madstone,” is out now (Note: The Ellis Family Madstone is on display at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History). Listeners can subscribe to Middle of Everywhere and download episodes bi-weekly on all podcast platforms, like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more. Episodes are also online at middleofeverywherepod.org, along with behind the scenes photos, a place to subscribe to the podcast’s newsletter, and links to the podcast’s social media pages (@middleofeverywherepod #rurallife #cominghome).
Project Catapult is an innovative podcast accelerator developed by Public Radio Exchange (better known as PRX, a non-profit media company specializing in audio journalism and storytelling), working in conjunction with public radio stations, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
In fall of 2019, Project Catapult selected six public radio stations from around the country, including WKMS, to participate in the 20-week curriculum. Over this period, the WKMS podcast team, which includes Carter, Lavery, and Dixie Lynn — who handles marketing and sponsorships — spent time at the PRX Podcast Garage in Boston, Mass., collaborating and learning podcasting skills like digital content development, cultivating diverse talent, audience engagement, and marketing.
WKMS and Middle of Everywhere are part of Project Catapult’s third and final round of participants.
WKMS is Murray State University’s National Public Radio Station. With 30,000 weekly listeners, WKMS is an essential provider of trusted news, eclectic music, and civil discourse to an audience in the Four Rivers Region of Western Kentucky, Northwest Tennessee, and Southern Illinois, and to a global digital audience with online streaming at wkms.org. Radio frequencies for the station include WKMS 91.3 FM regionwide, WKMD 90.9 FM in Madisonville/Owensboro, and WKMT 89.5 FM in Fulton.