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
2:29 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Former Official Sentenced To 35 Years For Role In Rwanda's Genocide

An international criminal court has found a former Rwandan government official guilty of genocide and other crimes, sentencing him to 35 years in prison for his role in the Hutu-led government's murder of ethnic Tutsis on an epic scale. The trial is the last stemming from events 18 years ago.

As Gregory Warner reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
3:24 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Maya Expert: The 'End Of Times' Is Our Idea, Not The Ancients'

Tourists are seen in front of the "Gran Jaguar" Mayan temple at the Tikal archaeological site in Guatemala, where ceremonies will be held to celebrate the end of the Mayan cycle known as Baktun 13 and the start of the new Maya Era on December 21.
Johan Ordonez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:05 pm

Update at 7 a.m. ET, Dec. 21: We're Still Here.

Our original post continues:

It is Dec. 20, 2012 — and citizens of Earth are panicking, consumed by the idea that the world will end Friday, something they say was predicted by Mayan astronomers. Of course, most people are not panicking, and Maya expert David Stuart says no one should. The calendar, he says, has plenty of room to go.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

News Of Sandy Hook's New Principal Brightens Parents' Day

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 6:44 am

When the students of Sandy Hook Elementary return to class after the holiday break, they'll be attending a different school. They'll also have an interim principal who will be a familiar face to some: Donna Page, who retired from Sandy Hook two years ago.

As NPR's Zoe Chace reports, the news was announced by a voicemail sent to the parents of Sandy Hook's students, in which Page (pronounced Pa-jhay), told them, "It is with a heavy heart full of love that I connect with you today. You may not know me, but I know you. I was principal of Sandy Hook School for 14 years."

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The Two-Way
6:00 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Michigan's Snyder Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Schools

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 6:50 am

Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday — one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.

As NPR's Rick Pluta reported for today's Morning Edition, Snyder has said that Friday's tragedy played a role in his consideration of the bill:

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The Two-Way
5:20 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

NRA Issues Statement Amid Calls For New Gun Control Laws

The National Rifle Association of America has broken its silence to comment on Friday's gun violence that ravaged a tight-knit Connecticut community, releasing a statement in which the gun-owners' rights group said it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

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The Two-Way
2:35 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Coal May Pass Oil As World's No. 1 Energy Source By 2017, Study Says

China and India are projected to propel coal's challenge of oil as the world's top energy source within the next five years, according to a new study. Here, a man rides a bicycle toward a coal-fired power station in China's Guangdong province last year.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:49 pm

Despite a slowdown in U.S. consumption, coal is poised to replace oil as the world's top energy source — possibly in the next five years, according to the International Energy Agency. The rise will be driven almost entirely by new energy demands in China and India, the IEA says.

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The Two-Way
6:20 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Sen. Daniel Inouye Dies At 88, As Senate Loses Its Most Senior Member

Sen. Daniel Inouye (left), who died at 88 Monday, served as the chairman of the Senate committee investigating the Iran-Contra affair in 1986.
Chris Wilkins AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 7:48 pm

Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, 88, has died of respiratory complications, according to reports from the AP and other news agencies. The World War II veteran, a Democrat, had been the most senior member of the Senate. He joined its ranks in 1963, shortly after Hawaii became a state.

At the time of his death, Inouye was the president pro tempore, placing him third in the line of succession, behind Vice President Biden and the House speaker. He was also the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

The Story Behind A Striking Image Of The Scene At Sandy Hook

In a photograph taken by Shannon Hicks, police and teachers lead children away from Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday, Dec. 14.
Shannon Hicks AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 3:26 pm

Update at 12:43 p.m. ET, Dec. 20: After we published this post, Shannon Hicks of The Newtown Bee got in touch to clarify details from the day of the Sandy Hook shooting. The text below now reflects those clarifications. For details of the revisions, please see the bottom of the post.

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

In Newtown's Tragedy, Futures Cut Short And Families Left With Voids

On a hillside in Newtown, Conn., art teacher Eric Mueller sets up wooden angels in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Details about the lives of the slain are showing the depths of the community's loss.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 2:17 pm

A day after the names of children and educators killed by a gunman at a Connecticut elementary school were released by law enforcement officials, details about the victims and their lives are emerging. In the wake of Friday's depraved attack in which 20 students and 6 adults were murdered, family members and friends have made public statements about their loss. And some have chosen to mourn in private.

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The Two-Way
5:22 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Connecticut School Shooting: Confusion Over Suspect's Name

Police and medical staff work outside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 27 people — 20 of them children — were killed Friday morning. Police have not officially declared a suspect, but news accounts have named Adam Lanza, 20, as the suspected gunman.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:40 pm

As details emerged about the tragic shooting deaths of more than 20 children and adults at a Connecticut elementary school today, law enforcement sources first named Ryan Lanza as the suspected gunman. But that account, reported by NPR and other news outlets, was later called into question by reports that identified Lanza's younger brother, Adam, as the suspect.

Update at 7:28 p.m. ET: Suspect's Identity Confirmed.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Obama And Boehner Meet At White House; Session Ends Without Deal

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) leaves after his weekly news briefing at the U.S. Capitol Thursday. Boehner said negotiations with President Barack Obama to are stalled until the White House offers more federal budget spending cuts.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 7:01 am

President Obama hosted House Speaker John Boehner today, spending nearly an hour together in which they reportedly discussed ways to avert the looming "fiscal cliff" of spending cuts and tax hikes that are due to strike at the end of 2012. Boehner left the White House at 6 p.m., ET, apparently without reaching a deal. As Politico reports, the Republican plans to return to his home state of Ohio this weekend.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

VIDEO: Speed Camera Nabs Car Sitting At Red Light

A screengrab of the video a speed-camera sent to driver Daniel Doty shows his car idling at a red light. Doty received a $40 fine for speeding.
Baltimore Sun

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:54 pm

When most drivers get a ticket from a speed-zone camera, there's little they can do but pay the fine. After all, the ticket often includes photographic proof that their car was over the limit. But a Maryland driver is fighting his $40 fine precisely because of what the photos show: his car, sitting at a red light.

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The Two-Way
6:18 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

California Gov. Brown Being Treated For Prostate Cancer

California Gov. Jerry Brown is receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer, which his physician says was caught at an "early stage." The governor's office announced the news today, adding that Brown's work schedule has not been disrupted.

"The prognosis is excellent, and there are not expected to be any significant side effects," the governor's office quoted UCSF oncologist Dr. Eric Small as saying. Calling the cancer "localized," Small said that Brown is undergoing a short course of radiation therapy.

Brown is expected to undergo treatment through early January.

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The Salt
5:53 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

From Belgium To Piggly Wiggly: U.S. Beer Fans Snatch Up Elusive Ale

A customer departs Total Wine of Towson, Md., with a gift pack of Belgium's Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:39 pm

To many beer fans, the arrival of the Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale in American shops today is a chance to try a beer they've only read about on beer-geek blogs and sites — where it's often given a "world class" rating of 100.

But finding the beer can be tricky — it's not available in all states, and some stores sold out of their allotment within hours of opening Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Winning Ticket Submitted For Second Half Of Powerball Jackpot

The remaining winner of the $587.5 million Powerball jackpot has come forward to claim their share of the prize, according to lottery officials in Arizona, where the winning ticket was sold, according to ABC 15 TV in Phoenix.

The Nov. 28 drawing produced two winning tickets: one in Arizona, and one in Missouri, where Cindy and Mark Hill have already claimed their share of the prize.

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All Tech Considered
3:20 am
Wed November 21, 2012

For Holiday Road Trips, Apps That Promise Diversions For Kids

Apps that can keep kids entertained during long road trips include (from left) Waze, Story Dice, Mobbles, Cobypic, and Postcard on the Run.
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 10:29 am

Thanksgiving is Thursday, and that means more than 43 million Americans will be on the road, driving to family gatherings. For many parents, the crowded roads can bring another challenge: Keeping a 9-year-old entertained along the way. And sometimes, DVDs are not enough. These days, kids love to tinker with smartphones and tablets, as well.

With that in mind, NPR's Renee Montagne spoke with an actual 9-year-old, Jane Frauenfelder, and her father, Mark. Together, they host the podcast Apps for Kids.

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

In Seattle, 'Rainiest Day Of The Year' Defends Its Title

Parking attendants search for a clogged drain in Seattle Monday. Pacific storms are rolling across the Northwest, according to the National Weather Service.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:48 am

It's Rain Day in Seattle — or at least that's what the city should consider calling November 19. As KOMO-TV reports, Nov. 19 "is statistically the most likely day to have rain in Seattle," with wet weather hitting the city on 89 out of the past 120 years, including today's deluge.

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The Two-Way
7:05 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Armstrong Doping Scandal: Some Cyclists 'Made The Right Choice' Not To Cheat

Former cyclist Scott Mercier has gained notoriety for refusing to go on a doping program 15 years ago. Here, Mercier (in blue jersey) rides just ahead of cyclist Chris Horner in 1997.
Jed Jacobsohn Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:44 pm

Reactions to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's recently released report on cyclist Lance Armstrong's use of performance-enhancing drugs have ranged from denial to anger and disappointment. Some have said Armstrong merely did what it took to compete with pro racers, all of them chemically enhanced. But that's just not true, says Joe Lindsey, a contributor to Bicycling magazine.

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The Salt
5:46 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

At The Great American Beer Festival, Big Tastes Come In Small Packages

Beer is sniffed and tasted in one-once portions, as the festival's breweries make their way through the 36,000 gallons of beer they brought to Denver.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:09 am

The soaring drone of a full bagpipe and drum corps greeted thousands of people who marched into a Denver arena for the Great American Beer Festival this past weekend. The martial music seemed a fitting way to prepare the crowd to test their palates, and their fortitude, against 2,700 different beers made by some of the best breweries in the United States.

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Monkey See
5:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

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The Two-Way
7:01 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Tomato Wars Ahead? U.S. Dubious On Extending Mexico Trade Deal

A worker separates tomatoes at a market in Mexico City. The Commerce Department says it might act to end a 16-year-old trade deal governing fresh Mexican tomatoes sold in the U.S.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 10:09 pm

Talk of a Tomato War is simmering in agricultural circles, after the U.S. Commerce Department issued a report Thursday that recommends ending an agreement on how fresh tomatoes grown in Mexico are sold in the United States. The issue could create an expanding trade conflict; Mexican officials have said they would retaliate to defend the tomato growers.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Fox News' Smith Apologizes After Man Commits Suicide On Air

Shepard Smith apologized to viewers Friday afternoon, after his show aired live footage of a man who fled police and then shot himself.
Fox News

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 11:30 am

After inadvertently airing live coverage of a car chase that ended with a man's suicide, Shepard Smith of Fox News has issued an apology to viewers of his show. The incident occurred as the cable network carried a live feed of a man fleeing police on the interstate west of Phoenix.

In the footage, the man abandoned his vehicle and began running across a field, before pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the head. Despite being filmed from a helicopter hovering above the scene, the footage was graphic enough to prompt immediate yelling in the Fox News studio.

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Cheese-Smuggling Ring Is Brought Down In Canda

Cheese that was smuggled into Canada may have brought profits of more than $165,000, according to police. Pizzerias were reportedly a main market for the criminals, who were arrested this week.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 7:56 pm

A "large scale Canada-U.S. cheese smuggling operation" has been brought down, after an international investigation tracked criminals who were skirting import duties and Canada's higher cheese prices.

"The investigation revealed over $200,000 worth of cheese and other products were purchased and distributed for an estimated profit of over $165,000," Niagara police said.

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The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Streams Of Water Once Flowed On Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It

NASA says it has found proof that water shaped the rocks on the left, in a photograph taken by the Mars rover Curiosity (left). For comparison, the agency released an image of rocks from the Earth (right).
NASA

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 4:20 pm

NASA's Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks are in a large canyon and nearby channels that were cut by flowing water, making up an alluvial fan.

"You had water transporting these gravels to the downslope of the fan," NASA researchers say. The gravel then formed into a conglomerate rock, which was in turn likely covered before being exposed again.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

What If Google Were Run By Replacement Engineers?

A spoof site launched by Erik Johnson pretends to offer Google's search engine — if it were run by replacements.
Replacement Google

Frustration over the NFL's not-ready-for-primetime replacement referees has inspired web designer Erik Johnson to present Google as if its search engine had replacement engineers at the controls. The result is a web page that looks a lot like the standard Google Search page — with a note that it is sponsored by the NFL.

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