Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who works with NPR's Morning Edition and Digital Media group. In addition to coordinating Web features, he frequently contributes to NPR's blogs, from The Two Way and All Tech Considered to The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to leading the London 2012 Olympics blog, The Torch. His assignments have included being the lead web producer for NPR's trip to Asia's Grand Trunk Road, as well as establishing the Peabody Award-winning StoryCorps on NPR.org.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, the site won its first Peabody Award, along with the National Press Foundation's Excellence in Online Journalism award.

At NPR, Chappell trains both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between departments. Other shows he has worked with include All Things Considered, Fresh Air, and Talk of the Nation.

Prior to joining NPR in late 2003, Chappell worked on the Assignment Desk at CNN International, handling coverage in areas from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America, and coordinating CNN's pool coverage out of Qatar.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for SI.com, as well as editing and producing stories for CNN.com's features division. He also worked at the network's video and research library.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

From 2002-2003, Chappell served as editor-in-chief of The Trans-Atlantic Journal, a business and lifestyle monthly geared for expatriate Europeans working and living in the United States.

A holder of bachelor's degrees in English and History from the University of Georgia, he attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Tue April 15, 2014

TurboTax Maker Linked To Fight Against 'Return-Free' Tax System

Proposals that would simplify the filing process for many Americans are under fire from tax preparation company TurboTax. Here, a 2013 IRS Estimated Tax form.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 11:33 am

Proposals to let U.S. taxpayers get a statement from the government that's already filled in with their financial information have been under attack by Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, according to ProPublica. The nonprofit newsroom says several people took a stand against the proposal in a grass-roots campaign that Intuit orchestrated.

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The Two-Way
8:34 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Boston Stronger: City Marks One Year Since Marathon Bombings [Updated]

A Boston Police honor guard is posted outside the Forum restaurant Tuesday, the site of the second of two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 1:56 pm

On this April 15, Americans are thinking about the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred one year ago.

In and around Boston, people are also looking back on a year of healing. The day's events culminated in a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time of the first explosion. Vice President Joe Biden joined other officials in a tribute near the race's finish line.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Ooops! US Airways Accidentally Includes Lewd Photo In Tweet

The Twitter account for US Airways created an embarrassing incident for the airline Monday, after an inappropriate image was included in a tweet to a customer.
Twitter

Airlines commonly use Twitter to address the concerns of customers, answering questions about flights and policies and helping passengers deal with delays. But US Airways ran into trouble online Monday, when its response to an unhappy customer included a link to a graphic photo of a woman with a model airplane.

The company has apologized and deleted the tweet from its account.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Pulitzer Prizes Are Out: 'Washington Post,' 'The Guardian' Win For NSA Stories

Journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald helped The Guardian win a Pulitzer Prize for public service along with The Washington Post Monday, for their stories based on NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 10:07 am

Months after lifting a veil of secrecy from the National Security Agency's surveillance operations, The Washington Post and The Guardian won a Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday. The two papers broke the story in tandem, relying on NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden.

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The Two-Way
11:34 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Banksy Is Believed To Be Behind Eavesdropping Mural Near British Spy HQ

Suspected Banksy artwork appears on the side of a house, depicting government agents spying on a phone box near GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) in Gloucestershire, England, Sunday.
Jules Annan Barcroft Media/Landov

A telephone box near Britain's Government Communications Headquarters is now bracketed with a trio of snoops, after a mural was added to a nearby wall this weekend. The art is believed to be the work of Banksy, who often uses public spaces as his canvas.

The mural was painted around the telephone box to create the image of three trenchcoat-clad men wearing sunglasses, holding microphones and other surveillance gear. A dark streak of paint rises above them, linking their scene with a satellite dish that's anchored on the side of the house.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Japan May Send Maglev Train Expertise To U.S., Without A Fee

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters after inspecting a maglev train system at the Yamanashi Experiment Center in Tsuru Saturday. Japan is reportedly willing to send the technology to the U.S. without a fee.
Kazuhiro Nogi AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:33 am

The technology behind Japan's magnetically levitated train system, which whooshes passengers to their destinations at speeds topping 300 mph, could come to the U.S. without a traditional license fee, according to Japanese media outlets.

Japan is also willing to include billions in loans to help underwrite what would be a very expensive project, a government source tells The Japan Times.

Here's more from the newspaper:

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Mon April 14, 2014

For Second Night, Valparaiso Fire Spreads Misery In Chile

People flee after a rejuvenated fire threatened their neighborhood in Valparaiso, Chile, Sunday. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated because of the fire.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 12:41 pm

At least 12 people are dead and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by a large fire that wreaked havoc over the weekend in Valparaiso, Chile. Some 10,000 people have been forced to evacuate parts of the port city.

Government spokesman Álvaro Elizalde says those figures are likely to go up as the fire continues to burn.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Huge Fire Kills At Least 11 And Destroys Hundreds Of Homes In Chile

Smoke fills the sky behind a hill in Valparaiso, Chile, Saturday. The large fire burned through the night and is blamed for at least 11 deaths.
Reuters /Landov

In Chile, a large fire that burned forest land and consumed houses has reportedly killed at least 11 people and destroyed 500 homes. Thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate areas near the port city of Valparaiso.

The BBC says the death toll had been 16, but it was dropped to 11 after authorities realized a family had been counted twice.

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The Two-Way
2:32 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

'Bully' Serves His Punishment: Holding Sign In Public

Edmond Aviv, 62, sits with a sign at a street corner in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid Sunday. Aviv, who called his neighbor "monkey momma" as she held her adopted, disabled African-American children, was ordered by a judge to display the sign.
Aaron Josefczyk Reuters /Landov

The sign tells the story.

"I am a bully," it reads. "I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."

That sign was displayed next to a busy roadside in a Cleveland suburb Sunday by Edmond Aviv, after a court found that he had abused his neighbors with racial slurs and vandalism that sometimes included dog feces.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

A Girl Ages From 0 To 14 Years Old, In 4 Minutes

A Dutch filmmaker has updated his time-lapse video project, showing his daughter growing from a a chubby-cheeked baby into a braces-wearing teenager.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
10:51 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Early Afghan Election Results Set Candidates Posturing

Initial results released by Afghan officials show former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah with a narrow lead over former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, in a tight presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 11:49 am

Initial results from Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election show two candidates — Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani — far ahead of their rivals. Election officials released the figures Sunday, based on less than 7 percent of the total vote.

Though the sample released Sunday represented a small fraction of the estimated 7 million votes cast, that hasn't stopped the leading candidates from posturing about the final outcome, as NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul:

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The Two-Way
9:43 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Marijuana Vending Machine Unveiled In Colorado

A customer eyes marijuana samples at a Denver dispensary. The makers of a newly unveiled vending machine are hoping to change how pot is sold in stores.
Theo Stroomer Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 9:52 am

An automated pot-selling machine was unveiled at an event held at an Avon, Colo., restaurant Saturday, promising a potential new era of selling marijuana and pot-infused snacks from vending machines directly to customers.

Its creators say the machine, called the ZaZZZ, uses biometrics to verify a customer's age. The machine is climate-controlled to keep its product fresh.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Pope Francis Poses For Selfies With Crowd At St. Peter's

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 10:03 am

After speaking to a crowd that was estimated at 100,000 people Sunday, Pope Francis moved through the audience in his popemobile — and then delighted some of those in attendance by getting out of the vehicle and posing for photos with them.

Francis posed for photos several times during his circuit through St. Peter's Square, where throngs of the faithful had gathered to hear him speak on Palm Sunday.

"After the ceremony, the pope hopped onto his popemobile and moved through the crowd, often getting off to pose for selfies with young people," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.

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The Two-Way
6:05 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Ukraine Says An Officer Died In Battle With Pro-Russian Forces

A Pro-Russian force guards a barricade outside a regional police building seized by armed men in Slovyansk Sunday. Ukraine, which launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in the eastern town, says one of its officers has been killed in a clash near the town.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 10:13 am

  • Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses U.S.-Russia Relations On 'Weekend Edition'

A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

U.S. Agency Backs Down In Standoff With Cattle Rancher

Rancher Cliven Bundy (center) walks with his grandson Braxton Louge along with armed security guards near his ranch house Friday. Bundy's ranch, west of Mesquite, Nev., has become a rallying point for protesters who back his fight against the Bureau of Land Management over grazing fees.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 10:19 am

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who refuses to pay grazing fees for the use of federally protected land, seems to have won at least a reprieve in his fight against the Bureau of Land Management. The agency has reportedly rounded up hundreds of Bundy's cows and impounded them.

The BLM announced Saturday that it will stop its operation targeting Bundy's cattle, citing safety concerns. But officials maintain that the rancher still owes more than $1 million in unpaid fees that date back more than 20 years.

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The Two-Way
1:58 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

In Australia, A Minute Of Silence Is Being Sold To Help Vets

Remembrance poppies honoring veterans cover a shrine in Wellington, New Zealand, on a recent April 25, when Australia and New Zealand mark ANZAC Day. A new campaign urges people to buy a minute of silence to support veterans.
Hagen Hopkins Getty Images

They're selling silence in Australia. But before you start thinking that means things are too noisy Down Under, know this: The Minute of Silence was recorded as current and former members of Australia's military stood by, in honor of their fallen comrades. The silence is being sold for a little over $2 to raise money to help veterans.

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The Two-Way
1:01 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Google Maps Displays Crimean Border Differently In Russia, U.S.

A Google Maps image from its Russian service depicts Crimea (bottom center) with a solid line, reflecting an international border between it and Ukraine. Versions of the map on other Google sites show it with a dotted line.
Google Maps

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 11:49 am

The U.S. sees Crimea as "occupied territory," as the government said in a recent statement. But in Russia, Google Maps now shows the peninsula as part of Russian territory. America and its allies have refused to accept the region's separatist move to join Russia.

A look at the maps available on two Google Maps Web addresses — one ending in .com and another in .ru — shows the disparity. In Russia, Web visitors see a solid line dividing Crimea from neighboring Ukraine. In the U.S., a dotted line separates the two, implying a disputed status within the country.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Bus Crash Tragedy: Investigators Work As Communities Mourn

The remains of a FedEx truck (right) and a bus involved in a crash Thursday are taken from the scene of the accident in Orland, Calif., by flatbed trucks on Friday. The students had been on their way to visit Humboldt State University in Northern California.
Elijah Nouvelage Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 10:32 am

Investigators don't know what caused a deadly highway crash that killed 10 people Thursday after a FedEx truck hit a bus that was taking teenagers to tour a college campus in Northern California. It could be months before they have answers, officials say.

The crash triggered explosions and a fire that reportedly killed five students and five adults (the two vehicles' drivers, in addition to three people associated with the college program). Some survivors have said they're alive because they managed to get out of windows and get clear of the blast.

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Pakistani Court Tosses Out Attempted Murder Charge Against Baby

Pakistani toddler Mohammad Musa, seen here sitting in his grandfather Muhammad Yasin's lap after a court hearing in Lahore. A court threw out charges of attempted murder against the toddler Saturday.
Arif Ali AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 11:33 am

Weeks after he was fingerprinted and appeared in court on an attempted murder charge, baby Mohammad Musa Khan is no longer living under the shadow of a criminal conviction. His case has been termed absurd, ridiculous and a sign of a justice system in need of reform.

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The Two-Way
7:04 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Republicans Form New Fundraising Group, On Heels Of High Court Ruling

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 11:42 am

Seeking to capitalize on the Supreme Court's recent ruling that eased restrictions on political contributions, Republicans are launching what experts call a new "super joint fundraising committee." The Republican Victory Fund will work under the expanded rules set by the court's April 2 ruling in the McCutcheon v. FEC case.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Armed Men Take Police HQ In Eastern Ukraine City

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 4:17 pm

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The Two-Way
12:28 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

NCAA Women's Final Matches Two Undefeated Teams

UConn and Notre Dame will bring perfect records into tonight's NCAA women's final in Nashville.
Andy Lyons Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 3:47 pm

You know a game is special when it makes the record books before it's played. That's the case for the NCAA women's title game, which will feature two teams with perfect records for the first time in history Tuesday night.

The AP says that's a record for any NCAA tournament title game, played by men or women. The NCAA says this year will also mark the second time the women's champions from all three divisions have gone undefeated.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Fists Fly In Ukraine's Parliament After Lawmaker's Speech [VIDEO]

Members of Ukraine's Svoboda party fight with members of the Communist Party in the Ukraine's parliament Tuesday, during a debate over a law toughening responsibility for separatism.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 1:00 pm

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The Two-Way
9:44 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Sharpton Rejects Detailed Story About FBI Informant Role

The Rev. Al Sharpton held a news conference Tuesday to discuss allegations that he worked with the FBI as an informant on mob activities.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 11:49 am

The Rev. Al Sharpton says he isn't a former FBI asset who informed on Mafia figures to a special task force in New York City during the 1980s. Responding to a report by The Smoking Gun, Sharpton says he was never an informant and that he went to the FBI after being threatened by mobsters entrenched in the music business.

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The Two-Way
7:26 am
Tue April 8, 2014

Russia Issues Warning As Ukraine Forcibly Removes Protesters

A photo taken through a shattered window shows pro-Russian protesters in front of Ukrainian police guarding the Kharkiv regional state administration building Tuesday.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 9:59 am

Riot police and other Ukrainian forces are cracking down on pro-Russian demonstrators in eastern Ukraine, drawing a warning from neighboring Russia on Tuesday that also alleged an American military contractor is helping Ukraine.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov says Ukraine has arrested around 70 demonstrators who had seized a regional administration building in Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city. Avakov described it as an "anti-terrorist" operation.

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The Two-Way
6:11 am
Tue April 8, 2014

With NCAA Title, UConn Answers Questions About Kentucky, And Itself

Ryan Boatright of the Connecticut Huskies holds up the NCAA championship trophy after defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 60-54 at AT&T Stadium on Monday, as his teammate Shabazz Napier is interviewed after the game.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 9:08 am

The Connecticut Huskies are the new NCAA champions, after beating a talented but young Kentucky Wildcats team in the men's final played in Arlington, Texas. UConn notched its fourth — and most unlikely — national title by outplaying a feisty Kentucky squad; the Huskies never trailed in Monday night's game.

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The Two-Way
3:08 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

Men's NCAA Basketball Final Pits UConn Against Kentucky

The Connecticut Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats will face off on the AT&T Stadium court in Arlington, Texas, on Monday night to decide the men's national champion in the NCAA tournament. The game begins at 9:10 p.m. ET.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 3:56 pm

Monday night's NCAA basketball national championship matches two teams that have a knack for dramatic finishes. But the teams' rankings in this tournament didn't predict their presence in the final: Connecticut was a No. 7 seed, and Kentucky a No. 8. The NCAA says their combined seeding of 15 is a new record.

As you would expect, the game will be broadcast on television by CBS, with the tipoff scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects Gay Wedding Photography Case

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 6:48 am

An appeal brought by a photographer who refused to take pictures of gay weddings was turned down by the Supreme Court on Monday morning. The court also refused to hear a challenge to a ban on campaign contributions by corporations, and allowed a district court case over U.S. surveillance to continue.

The photography case was brought by Elane Photography, a New Mexico business run by a husband-and-wife team who said their First Amendment rights allowed them to refuse service to a woman who had sought to hire the company to photograph her commitment ceremony with her partner.

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The Two-Way
9:21 am
Mon April 7, 2014

On Stand, A Weeping Pistorius Apologizes To Girlfriend's Family

South African track star Oscar Pistorius wipes his face during his trial in Pretoria on Monday. The 27-year-old grew emotional as he apologized to the family of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius is charged with murdering her.
Themba Hadebe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 11:21 am

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Signal 'Just Like' Emergency Beacon Detected In Search For Flight 370

Angus Houston displays a map of the search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 Monday. Houston says an Australian navy ship has detected underwater signals consistent with aircraft black boxes, calling it the "most promising lead" so far in the month-old search.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 11:13 am

Calling it the "most promising lead" so far, the leader of the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner says ships have again detected a signal on the same frequency used by "black box" emergency beacons. But Angus Houston also reiterated that it's too early to draw conclusions.

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