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
1:00 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Illinois Train Conductor's Challenge: Keep The Beer From Freezing

In an Illinois railyard, train cars carrying beers such as Corona and Pacifico are at risk of spoiling their cargo if freezing temperatures take hold.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:18 pm

In a railyard outside Chicago, the deep cold of winter can threaten a Midwest staple: beer. The large distribution hub regularly holds more than 1 million cases, according to Crain's Chicago Business. A Crain's reporter spent a night on the job with the man who must keep the beer safe.

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The Two-Way
12:08 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

China Is Poised To Force 'Times' Reporter Out Of Country

In a move that's being seen as retaliation for negative stories about its leaders, China's government has told a New York Times reporter that he must leave the country when his visa expires Thursday. The government has not granted a request for a new visa that was made last summer.

The development comes despite objections from Vice President Joe Biden, who has urged senior officials in Beijing not to punish U.S. journalists with de facto expulsion.

From Beijing, NPR's Frank Langfitt reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:03 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

New Bipartisan Farm Bill Emerges From Long Debate In Congress

The new farm bill includes provisions to help livestock producers hit by natural disasters and extreme weather. Here, cattle stay warm in a barn in Illinois during this month's cold weather.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 6:55 am

Members of the House and Senate have reached a bipartisan agreement on a five-year farm bill that will end months of uncertainty for farmers and agriculture workers, its backers say. If enacted, it would close the gap left when the previous farm bill expired late in 2013, after an emergency extension lapsed.

The Agricultural Act of 2014, which will likely come up for a vote on Wednesday, reflects the many agendas that helped to complicate its creation.

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The Edge
4:09 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

'Crazy' And 'Surreal': Figure Skater Jason Brown's Road To Sochi

Jason Brown skates during this year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston. After his free skate was watched more than 3 million times on YouTube, he said, "I don't know how it happened. ... I'm so shocked, beyond shocked. It's so surreal to me."
Jared Wickerham Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 11:17 am

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The Two-Way
3:32 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

U.S. Agencies, Tech Firms Agree To Rules On Surveillance Info

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:53 pm

Internet companies that receive U.S. government requests for information about their customers will be able to disclose more details about surveillance than has been allowed, according to a deal announced today by the Justice Department.

The shift will allow technology and communications companies "to publish the aggregate data ... relating to any orders issued pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)" — and in more ways than had been previously allowed.

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The Two-Way
1:47 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Spoiler Alert? 'Madden NFL 25' Predicts Super Bowl Outcome

Who will win? Videogame maker EA Sports says its Madden NFL 25 predicts an overtime thriller in Sunday's Super Bowl, with Denver edging Seattle. Here, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, left, and Broncos coach John Fox are seen in a composite image.
Getty Images Getty Images

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The Two-Way
7:02 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

NFL Fines Seattle's Richard Sherman Nearly $8,000

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been fined by the NFL for unsportsmanlike behavior after his team's win over San Francisco in the NFC title game. He's seen here on the sideline after tipping a pass that led to a game-clinching interception.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Days after his conduct in the NFC title game sparked a wide-ranging controversy, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been fined $7,875 for what the NFL calls unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting at the end of that game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Sherman famously tipped a pass into the hands of a teammate late in that game, sealing the win for Seattle. And then he equally famously launched into a brief, but excited and loud, rant about his abilities with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

NPR's Richard Gonzales reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
6:04 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Student Shot And Killed At S.C. State University

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 6:30 am

Police are looking for four suspects in Orangeburg, S.C., where a student was shot and killed in an attack on the campus of South Carolina State University Friday afternoon. Officials identified the victim as Brandon Robinson, 20, a member of the school's football team.

The shooting took place at a dormitory around 1:30 p.m. The campus was locked down for hours afterward; the search for the suspects is still underway off-campus, officials said.

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The Two-Way
4:06 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Judge Tells Hospital To Take Pregnant Woman Off Life Support

Erick Munoz is escorted by attorneys as he walks to court in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday. A judge ordered a hospital to take Munoz's wife, who is 22 weeks pregnant, off life support.
Tim Sharp AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:10 pm

A North Texas judge has ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove life support from a woman who is 22 weeks pregnant. Her family says Marlise Munoz, 33, is brain-dead. She has reportedly not been awake since November, when she was discovered unconscious in her home. Doctors say she had suffered a pulmonary embolism.

At that time, Munoz was 14 weeks pregnant. Since then, a debate has raged about whether she should be kept alive. Many of the questions center on the details of Munoz's condition, and on state laws about terminating the life of a pregnant woman.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Which Are The Most, And Least, 'Bible-Minded' Cities In The U.S.?

A new study ranks 100 American cities according to how "Bible-minded" they are. The top spot went to Chattanooga, Tenn. Several cities in the Northeast and West were ranked "least Bible-minded."
Joseph Kaczmarek AP

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 6:26 pm

In an era of shifting populations and values, the notion of America's Bible Belt can be a slippery concept. But a new study gives us an idea of which cities can be considered to be part of that tradition — and which cities aren't.

Chattanooga, Tenn., was named America's most Bible-minded city, followed by Birmingham, Ala., and Roanoke/Lynchburg, Va.

And despite its name, Providence, R.I., was named the least Bible-minded city. It tied New Bedford, Mass., in that slot, followed by Albany, N.Y., and Boston.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Conservative Writer D'Souza Indicted On Campaign Fraud Charges

Prominent conservative writer and filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza has been indicted in New York on charges that he broke campaign finance laws. D'Souza, a vocal critic of President Obama, is accused of contributing thousands of dollars over the legal limit in a 2012 Senate race.

Another charge alleges that D'Souza, 52, made false statements about the contributions, which he is accused of routing through third parties. That charge carries a possible maximum punishment of five years in prison.

NPR's Peter Overby filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Edge
3:47 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Welcome To The Edge: NPR's Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Blog

Olympic Park in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. NPR will bring you the most interesting things we see and learn from the 2014 Winter Olympics. The first events are on Feb. 6, one day before the opening ceremony.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 24, 2014 11:25 am

Today marks the start of The Edge, a blog hosting NPR's coverage of the Sochi Winter Games. The Edge is about the journeys Olympic athletes take to get better. From skaters to skiers, no two journeys are alike. But they all end at the same place: in competition. And many of them are fascinating.

As we've prepared for the games that begin Feb. 6 — in just two weeks — NPR has been following many stories of athletes and equipment, of money and security.

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The Two-Way
7:04 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Keystone Pipeline's Southern Section Begins Delivering Oil To Gulf Coast

A 2012 photo shows sections of pipe on a neighboring property to Julia Trigg Crawford family farm in Sumner Texas, in the path of the Keystone pipeline. TransCanada said today that it is delivering oil through the Gulf Coast portion of its proposed Keystone XL pipeline, from a hub in Cushing, Okla., to Houston-area refineries.
Tony Gutierrez AP

A large section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline went into official operation Wednesday, in a move that supporters say will help ease the flow of oil to refineries in the Gulf Coast region. The Obama administration has yet to rule on the project's northern portion.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Online Donors Send Jamaican Bobsled Team To Sochi

The two-man Jamaican bobsled team will be heading to Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Olympics, after a fundraising campaign gave a much-needed boost to its budget.
Jamaican Bobsled Team

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:31 am

After word went out that Jamaica's two-man bobsled team had qualified to compete in Sochi next month — but didn't have money to go to Russia — Internet donors saved the day. Thousands of people contributed to online campaigns, including one held in Dogecoin, the peculiar digital currency.

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The Two-Way
2:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Wrestling Fans Mourn Mae Young, 90 — A Pioneer Of The Ring

A still image from a WWE video tribute to Mae Young shows the famed wrestler during the early years of her career. Young died last week in South Carolina.
WWE

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 12:57 pm

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The Two-Way
6:23 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Buying A Detroit House For $500, And Then Explaining Why

A corner in Poletown, the section of Detroit where Drew Philip bought a house for $500.
Courtesy of Garrett MacLean

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 11:43 am

Drew Philp made waves this month by explaining to the Internet why he bought a house in struggling Detroit for $500. In his much-discussed story for Buzzfeed, Philp said that he is part of "another Detroit," one where people are working to help each other and save their city.

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The Two-Way
3:09 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

One Killed, Suspect In Custody In Purdue University Shooting

A police officer walks out of the Electrical Engineering Building on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday. One person was killed in a classroom by a gunman who surrendered to a police officer within minutes of the attack, officials said.
Michael Conroy AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:08 pm

Police declared the campus of Purdue University safe Tuesday afternoon, hours after a shooting in a school building alarmed students and sparked a partial evacuation order. One person died in the violence; another has been taken into police custody.

Update at 8:55 p.m. ET: Police Identify Those Involved

At an evening news conference, authorities named student Cody Cousins, 23, as the suspect in today's shooting. And they said the victim who died today was another student, Andrew F. Boldt, 21.

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The Two-Way
1:54 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Cheese To The Rescue: Surprising Spray Melts Road Ice

In Wisconsin, a dairy that makes mozzarella and provolone cheeses is giving its leftover salt brine to counties that use it to help melt road ice. Here, wheels of cheese are stacked in a deli.
iStockphoto

This winter, a Wisconsin county is fighting icy roads with a homegrown product: liquid cheese brine. Tens of thousands of gallons of the stuff are used each year along with road salt, according to officials in Polk County.

The rural county (county seat: Balsam Lake) uses the cheese brine in "pre-wetting for snow and ice control," as Emil "Moe" Norby, technical support manager for the Polk County Highway Department, tells us. And he says the brine has a definite effect when it's mixed with regular road salt.

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The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

California's Governor Declares Drought State Of Emergency

Gov. Jerry Brown holds a chart showing California's average precipitation as he declares a drought state of emergency for the state Friday. Brown asked residents to voluntarily reduce water usage by 20 percent.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Saying that his state must take steps to plan for prolonged water shortages, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency over an extended drought Friday. California faces "water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history," according to the governor's office.

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The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Federal Judge Says N.C. Ultrasound Abortion Law Is Illegal

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:16 pm

A controversial North Carolina law requiring women who want to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound scan is illegal, according to a federal judge's ruling issued Friday. The state's law required that the women have a medical professional tell them what the image depicts. It also said the women should "listen to the heartbeat of the unborn child."

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The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Obama Signs Trillion-Dollar Federal Spending Bill

President Obama signed the $1.1 trillion spending bill into law Friday afternoon, enacting more than 1,500 pages of legislation that received broad support in the House and Senate earlier this week. The expansive bill ensures the U.S. government won't face a potential shutdown until at least October.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Chemical Company In West Virginia Water Crisis Files For Bankruptcy

Freedom Industries, which has been blamed for a chemical spill that left thousands of people without water, has filed for bankruptcy. The company's facility on Barlow St. is seen here on the banks of the Elk River in Charleston, West Virginia.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:40 pm

Freedom Industries, the West Virginia company that's been blamed for a chemical spill that left around 300,000 people without water for days, has filed for bankruptcy. The chemical used in cleaning coal leaked into the Elk River and into the public water system.

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Pope Benedict Reportedly Defrocked Hundreds Of Priests For Abuse

Pope Benedict XVI, seen here in London in 2010, defrocked nearly 400 priests from 2011-2012 for abusing children, according to a document from the Holy See that was obtained by the AP.
Peter Nicholls AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 5:13 pm

In a period of just over two years, Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests for molesting children, according to the AP, which says it obtained a document representing a rare collection of such data.

As of Friday afternoon, NPR hasn't independently confirmed the AP's information, not having seen the document. Here's a bit of context from NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Rome:

"If confirmed, the number of nearly 400 marks a sharp increase over the 170 priests removed in 2008 and 2009, when the Vatican first provided details on the number of defrocked priests.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

What's Inside This Mystery House In North Carolina?

A close look at this house at 3215 Wade Ave. in Raleigh, N.C., suggests not all is as it seems. There isn't a driveway, for instance, and there's no walkway to the front door.
Eric Mennel WUNC

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 3:17 pm

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The Two-Way
4:50 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

With Senate's OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads To Obama

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 5:44 pm

A massive $1.1 trillion spending bill has gained Senate approval, allowing Congress to send a wide-ranging bill to President Obama for his signature. The massive bill will prevent any gaps in government funding as well as take some of the sting out of automatic spending cuts.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gilligan's 'The Professor' Has Died; Russell Johnson Was 89

Actor Russell Johnson, the Professor on Gilligan's Island, has died at age 89. He's seen here at far left seated next to Bob Denver, along with fellow cast members from left, Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Alan Hale Jr., and Dawn Wells.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 6:09 pm

Russell Johnson, the actor whose job it was to be the voice of reason and calm on an island of shipwrecked ninnies, has died at age 89, according to reports. Johnson's role as the Professor on the 1960s comedy Gilligan's Island endeared him to audiences who watched him build radios and generators from things like coconuts and palm branches.

Johnson reportedly died of natural causes today at his home in Bainbridge Island, Wash.

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The Two-Way
3:10 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

NSA Reportedly Collected Millions Of Phone Texts Every Day

The NSA used a program codenamed Dishfire to collect text messages worldwide that were then used to extract location and financial data, according to The Guardian. Here, women use their cellphones in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

As recently as 2011, the National Security Agency was collecting almost 200 million text messages each day, according to a new story by The Guardian that cites documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The texts were used to develop financial and location data, the newspaper says.

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The Two-Way
12:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

In London, The Case Of The Purloined Water Lily

One of the world's rarest flowers has been stolen, Britain's Kew Gardens announced this week. The water lily Nymphaea thermarum is seen here in 2010.
Andrew McRobb AP

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The Two-Way
6:58 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Pregnant Women Warned Against Drinking Water In W.Va. Area

The Freedom Industries facility sits on the banks of the Elk River last Friday, in Charleston, W.Va., site of a chemical spill that has led to a ban on using tap water in the area. The CDC says pregnant women in affected areas should drink only bottled water.
Tom Hindman Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging pregnant women who live in the areas of West Virginia where a toxic chemical leaked into the water supply last week to drink bottled water, even in places where the no-use ban has been lifted. The move comes "out of an abundance of caution," the CDC and the state's Bureau of Public Health say.

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Rental Car Surprise: Comes With An AR-15 In The Back

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:43 pm

A Florida vacation got off to an odd start for Judith Fleissig, 58, of Rochester, N.Y., when she and her daughter realized the car they'd rented had an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. More oddness followed: The gun was left there by the wife of Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, police say.

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