August 26, 2009
Contact:
Emerson Brown, NPR


   

NPR NEWS KICKS OFF "FRIDAY NIGHT LIVES":
WEEKLY SEASON-LONG SERIES
REPORTS ON PHENOMENON OF HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Audiences Encouraged to Offer Correspondents Tom Goldman and Mike Pesca
Story Ideas for the All Things Considered series Via Twitter, YouTube and Flickr



August 26, 2009; Washington, D.C. In big cities and small towns all over the United States, high school football is a ritual that defines the fall and a phenomenon that touches virtually every aspect of American life. This season, NPR sets out to report on the stories, struggles and victories of high school football, the communities who support it and the issues and costs of the game in the weekly series "Friday Night Lives." The season-long series is airing every Friday on the afternoon newsmagazine All Things Considered, beginning with sweltering practices in August, through the state championships in November. An overview and the first report are available now at the Friday Night Lives page of NPR.org.

NPR sports correspondents Tom Goldman and Mike Pesca hit the fields in communities big and small to report "Friday Night Lives," traveling the country to cover games and tell of the athletes, schools, families and communities who participate. During the series, Goldman and Pesca will also explore the big costs and issues associated with the sport, from the pressures put on the young players to coaches that earn more than principals.

NPR is also soliciting audience participation for "Friday Night Lives" at NPR.org. Audiences are asked to root for their home teams and share story ideas and comments. Goldman and Pesca want to hear about game traditions at different schools, extraordinary players or teams, interesting or little-known aspects of the sport and concerns people have about high school football. Audiences may also contribute to "Friday Night Lives" via Twitter (use the tag #nprfootball), by tagging YouTube videos with the keyword nprfootball, and posting pictures in the "Friday Night Lives" Flickr group.

All Things Considered, NPR's signature afternoon newsmagazine, is broadcast on more than 660 NPR Member stations nationwide, reaching 13 million listeners weekly. The two-hour weekday program is hosted by Melissa Block, Michele Norris and Robert Siegel. Go team!