At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

New Smokies podcast launches

A new podcast series from the Great Smoky Mountains Association brings the science, stories and sounds of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to listeners from across the country. 

Hosted by GSMA videographer and publications associate Valerie Polk and senior publications specialist Karen Key, Smoky Mountain Air features interviews with authors, scientists and park experts, who each shed new light on life in the Smokies, both past and present.

Current and forthcoming episodes include guests Rose Houk, David Brill, Steve Kemp and Stephen Lyn Bales, as well as an interview with Horace Kephart co-biographer Janet McCue and filmmaker Paul Bonesteel. The series is the brainchild of Park Archivist Mike Aday.

“Smoky Mountain Air author interviews serve as an entry point to what we call the missing issues of Smokies Life magazine,” said Frances Figart, GSMA’s creative director and the biannual magazine’s editor. “These are issues that everyone asks us about on a regular basis because they can no longer find them anywhere in print.”

Polk is a filmmaker and contributor to GSMA’s award-winning YouTube channel. For more than 10 years, she has documented the beauty, the history and the extraordinary experiences that draw visitors to the Smokies. Key has served on the GSMA creative team since 2006. She is responsible for the overall layout of the park newspaper, Smokies Guide, designs articles for Smokies Life and created the graphics for Dan Pierce’s popular moonshine book Corn From a Jar. She also designed the award-winning Into the Mist by David Brill and the CD Big Bend Killing. 

While the park is resuming operations in phases, GSMA realizes that some members and park supporters may prefer to continue experiencing the park from afar. Smoky Mountain Air, as well as Smokies LIVE, will enable people to learn more about the history, science and culture of the Smokies from the comfort of their homes.

Smoky Mountain Air can be found on all the usual podcast-hosting platforms, including Apple, Spotify, Google Podcast and Stitcher. The missing Smokies Life issues can be found at smokiesinformation.org/missingissues.

Go to top