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  • Writer's picturePodcast Librarian

Inside Appalachia: Extraordinary reporting about ordinary people

The Premise (from Apple Podcasts):

Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. Host Jessica Lilly leads us on an audio tour of our rich history, our food, our music and our culture. ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Series or standalone:


Begin listening to:

Any episode


Investigative reporting


Jessica Lilly and a team of reporters

Sound/production quality:

Very good

Rating/age suitability:

Mostly appeals to adults but usually fine for kids/teens to listen

Approximate length of episodes:

50 minutes

Curricular ties:

Probably none unless you're teaching a college course specifically about Appalachia

Similar recommended pods:

Appalachian Mysteria for true crime in Appalachia; Mountain Stage for folk music; Black in Appalachia; Brave Little State

Podcast Librarian’s Review:

This has been a favorite of of mine for a while, which is interesting because I don’t have any ties to Appalachia; I actually have no clue how I found this pod or why I decided to listen. But I’m so happy I did! Host Jessica Lilly’s accent is mellifluous and divine, and she reports on all sorts of interesting topics that are important to Appalachians but also apply to the rest of us. Each story demystifies some aspect of Appalachia, and she interviews fascinating people, from those who are what those of us outside of the community would consider “stereotypical” residents, to the young, liberal residents who are changing the face of Appalachia. As you would expect of any NPR show, it is both informative and entertaining.

Must-listen episodes include:

What Happens When a School Closes; A Response to Hillbilly Elegy by Appalachian Writers; He Died in Terror; Black Lung Disease: Back and Worse than Before.

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