The media typically takes a straightforward look at sports: who won, who lost, and why. And almost all of that coverage is about the 1 percent of athletes competing at the highest levels of college and professional sport. With Contested, a new one-hour broadcast airing on public radio stations across the country, Center for Documentary Studies audio director John Biewen “set out to take a different kind of look,” he writes, “to tell stories exploring the role of sports in the lives of regular people; in particular, young people.”
Biewen decided to base the show right here in Durham, North Carolina—”a sports-obsessed region in a sports-obsessed land”—and got to know four young athletes and their families during the making of the project. “Contested does not take a pro or con position on sports,” he writes. “It does raise questions about American sports culture and what it has become, how it mirrors us in ways both encouraging and troubling.”
Learn more about the Contested project at sportsproject.org. Produced in collaboration with State of the Re:Union, the public radio show hosted by Al Letson, the episode began airing May 14, 2014; check your local public radio listings. Listen to the episode on the State of the Re:Union website here.