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 Torch
4:34 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Maroney Says She'll 'Make The Best' Of Competing On Broken Toe

"It was really fun to get out there and do my vault," McKayla Maroney said, after trying out the apparatus at the North Greenwich Arena in London Thursday. Maroney is coping with the lingering effects of a broken right toe.
John Cheng USA Gymnastics

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 5:42 pm

U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.

On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney's toe "was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here."

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The Torch
9:34 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Egypt Rocks Pirate Brands, And Flag-Gate

Good morning, and welcome to "Day -1" of the 2012 Summer Olympics. That NASA-like designation is due to events already having begun in the soccer competition, before Friday's Opening Ceremony. Men's soccer begins play today.

Here are some stories that popped up overnight:

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The Torch
4:47 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Fencer Mariel Zagunis Will Carry U.S. Flag In Opening Ceremony

Mariel Zagunis has been named the U.S. flagbearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Here, Zagunis celebrates a win in the individual sabre final at the Pan American Games last year.
Jorge Saenz AP

Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist in sabre, has been named the U.S. flagbearer for Friday's Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Zagunis, who was chosen by her peers for the honor, will be the first fencer to carry the flag since 1968, when Janice Lee Romary led the U.S. team in Mexico City.

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The Torch
3:29 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Starts London Olympics With A Comeback Win

Carli Lloyd scores the U.S. team's winning goal, in a comeback win over France. The Americans are bidding for their third straight Olympic gold medal.
Graham Stuart AFP/Getty Images

On the first day of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. women's soccer team bounced back from an early deficit to beat France, 4-2. The game was a rematch for the two teams that met in last year's World Cup semifinals.

France jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the match was 15 minutes old, scoring on a breakaway run by Gaetane Thiney; moments later, a short-range shot found the back of the net after several U.S. players failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.

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The Torch
11:37 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Greek Triple Jumper Suspended From Olympic Team For Inappropriate Tweets

Triple jumper Voula Papachristou, seen competing in Finland last month, has been removed from Greece's London Olympics squad over comments made on Twitter.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:32 pm

Greek track star Voula Papachristou has been suspended from her country's Olympic team, after she made a comment about Africans who live in Greece. The comment was widely noticed on her Twitter feed, and resulted in her removal from the London 2012 roster.

On Twitter, Papachristou also reportedly expressed support for the right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn, particularly its views on immigration.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee said that Papachristou "is suspended after her comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism."

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The Torch
10:52 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The London Games, Seen Through A (Very) Critical Eye

Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.

For instance, NPR's Louisa Lim recently reported on China's Post-Olympic Woe: How To Fill An Empty Nest.

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The Torch
9:16 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Iran's Judo Champ Withdraws From Olympics, Ending Chance Of Facing Israeli

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 9:19 am

Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.

From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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The Torch
5:05 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Olympic Sports We Don't See Any More, And Why

Who needs two hands? At the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, the events included All Around Dumbell, which comprised 10 one- and two-handed lifts.
Chicago History Museum/Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 5:14 pm

The Olympic Games are one of the most tradition-bound sporting events in the world. But that doesn't mean its sporting events are written in stone.

Since 1894, dozens of events have had their flash in the pan, and been dumped. Some have lasted only one Olympic cycle. The website Top End Sports has a nice collection of discontinued Olympic events.

Here are some of my favorite one-and-dones:

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The Torch
12:36 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Watch The London Olympics Online: A Guide To Web Video And Mobile Apps

The NBC Olympics app will include different levels of streaming video. The network requires registration for access to its live content from London.
NBC

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 3:44 am

If you love to watch the Olympics, this is your year: NBC is pumping out more than 5,500 hours of video for your TV and digital devices. We've covered that before — but how do you go about watching?

Here's a guide to how you can keep up with the Summer Games:

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The Salt
12:02 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

A Bartender's Antidote To Sweet And Citrus? Bitter Bark, Myrrh And Secrets

Alexandra Bookless, head bartender at The Passenger, suggests starting off with Fernet in a cocktail like the Hanky Panky.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:48 pm

For bartenders, the words "last call" have a hidden meaning: It won't be long before they're enjoying a drink of their own. And after hours of making tonics, flips and fizzes, what does a bartender drink? Often, the answer is short and simple: Fernet.

In a world of citrusy, sugary drinks that can all taste alike, Fernet Branca stands alone. Depending on how your palate responds, the Italian digestif can be called everything from refreshingly bold to an acquired taste to cough syrup that's gone bad.

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The Torch
9:51 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Olympic Coaches Won't March; North Korea Wants Games On TV

London Underground employee John Light (!) carries the Olympic torch onto a train at Wimbledon Station.
LOCOG

Good morning. With three days until the official opener of the 2012 London Games, here's a summary of the news coming out of the Olympics:

  • U.S. (and other) coaches will not be walking in Friday's Opening Ceremonies, because Olympic honchos wanted to shorten the ceremony. Some don't even have tickets.
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The Torch
4:00 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Before Olympics, U.S. Basketball Gives Itself Hard Tests; Spain Awaits

Kobe Bryant (left) drives against Manu Ginobili of Argentina during an exhibition game between USA and Argentina in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday. The U.S. team faces another test Tuesday, against world No. 2 Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

The U.S. Olympic basketball team narrowly beat Argentina late Sunday, 86-80, as the two teams prepare for the start of the London Games Friday. The tight score came despite a fast start for the U.S. squad, who were dressed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1992 Dream Team.

The Americans raced to a 31-16 lead early on, but they were only 4 points ahead late in the game, and pulled away thanks to three-pointers by Kevin Durant and Chris Paul — who posted a photo of his uniform on Instagram.

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The Torch
12:43 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Many Muslim Olympians Get A Break On Ramadan Fasting

Britain's Abdul Buhari competes in the discus at the European Athletics Championships last month. With the Olympics coinciding with Ramadan, Buhari and many other Muslim athletes are postponing their fasting until after their events.
Ian Walton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 8:39 am

Hundreds of Muslim athletes are participating in the London Olympics, which officially begin Friday. But along with travel and other logistics, they're also adjusting to Ramadan, the holy month that requires them to fast.

Many athletes say they'll forego the ban on consuming food and drink, as Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports on Morning Edition. The daylong fast is a threat to a strong performance — and their hopes of bringing pride to their nation, they say.

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The Two-Way
7:33 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Phelps And Lochte Set To Square Off In Olympic Trials Final

Michael Phelps swims in a preliminary heat at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Phelps and rival Ryan Lochte were awoken from their afternoon naps by a fire alarm at their hotel Monday.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 8:35 pm

The London Olympics are still more than a month away, but fans of swimming were eager to see the 2012 edition of the rivalry between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte get started Monday, when the two Olympic gold medalists face off in the final of the 400-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Update at 8:32 p.m. Lochte Beats Phelps

Lochte defeated Phelps at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Greek Workers Find Ancient Highway In Subway Dig

Officials unveiled an ancient road found during construction of Thessaloniki's new subway system Monday.
Nikolas Giakoumidis AP

A Greek city's new subway project has led to the discovery of an ancient road made of marble that was laid nearly 2,000 years ago. The road in Thessaloniki is made of paving stones that show signs of use by both horse-drawn carriages and local children, the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Paralympic Cyclists Inspire Each Other, And A Documentary

Paralympic cyclists are featured in the upcoming documentary Unstoppables.
black train films

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 6:44 am

The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics are just over a month away — leading NPR and other media to cover the intense preparations for the games. That also means the Paralympic Games are on the way, as athletes with physical disabilities round into top form for the Aug. 29 opening day.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Vatican Hires Fox News Reporter To Advise Media Office

People gather on St. Peter's square to hear Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican Sunday. The Vatican has hired Fox News correspondent Greg Burke to advise its press office.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 1:54 pm

Seeking to modernize and widen its dealings with the media, the Vatican has hired Fox News Channel's Rome correspondent to advise its press office. The move will put journalist Greg Burke, who is also a member of Opus Dei, into a new role working with Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

For NPR's Newscast desk, Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome:

"Greg Burke, 52, has been with Fox 10 years, and he'll be the first Vatican communications expert with experience outside the world of Catholic media.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Fukushima Markets Get First Local Seafood Since Nuclear Meltdown

Markets in the port city of Soma, in Fukushima, Japan, are once again selling local seafood. In this file photo, volunteers help clean up a Soma seafood restaurant damaged in last March's tsunami and earthquake.
Hiro Komae AP

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 2:11 pm

Seafood markets in Fukushima, Japan, are being stocked with locally caught products again, as officials seek to reintroduce local fare in the area that was hit by an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown in March of 2011.

The AP reports on the details:

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Venus Williams Bows Out Of Wimbledon On First Day

Venus Williams stretches for a return in her first-round defeat to Russia's Elena Vesnina on the first day of the Wimbledon Championships. For Williams, 32, it was her earliest exit from Wimbledon in 15 years.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Venus Williams has lost in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships, a striking defeat for the five-time winner of the grass-court tournament. She lost to Elena Vesnina of Russia in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, after failing to establish her serve.

"I have to give credit to her," Williams said. "She made hardly any errors and served well."

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All Tech Considered
3:01 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Tesla's New Electric Sedan: Five Passengers, 89 MPG, And No Engine

The new Model S from Tesla has a maximum range of 265 miles with a full charge. The car can also reach 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds — a feat the company says may affect overall mileage.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 10:46 am

The Tesla electric car company has high hopes for its new Model S, which it calls "the world's first premium electric sedan." The new car, which is being delivered to customers Friday, is priced at around half the cost of the only other Tesla model, the svelte, two-door Roadster.

The new car's sticker price starts around $57,000; a $7,500 federal tax credit drops the starting price just below $50,000. But like its gas-powered cousins, this electric vehicle has so many options available that its price can soar to near $100,000.

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All Tech Considered
2:48 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

ICANN's Call For New Domain Names Brings Criticism, And $357 Million

ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom unveiled nearly 2,000 proposed new "top-level" domain names during a press conference in London Wednesday.
Tim Hales AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 6:01 pm

ICANN, the corporation that rules the Internet's address book, plans to increase the number of "top level" domains from the current 22 to 1,000 domains starting in early 2013. But not everyone is happy with that plan — and many say it's an open call to price-gougers and con artists.

Others complain that with 1,930 applications, ICANN — a non-profit corporation — raised just over $357 million. The U.S.-created entity was also in the news last spring, when it approved the .xxx domain.

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Sports
5:05 am
Thu June 14, 2012

A Minor Leaguer's Life: Bats, Games And A Nickname

Tyler Saladino, 22, makes a throw from second base during warm-ups with the AA Birmingham Barons.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 11:51 am

Tyler Saladino plays baseball in the minor leagues in Birmingham, Ala. A prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, he was sent to the AA Birmingham Barons after spending part of spring training with the major league club.

And when he arrived in Alabama, Saladino's first task was to find a place to live, as he tells Morning Edition's David Greene. He settled on sharing an apartment.

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The Salt
10:13 am
Sat June 9, 2012

To Grow A Craft Beer Business, The Secret's In The Water

Craft brewers are reaching markets far from their home breweries. In a Washington, D.C., store, beers from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Vermont, and elsewhere are for sale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:47 pm

It's a good time to be a craft brewer, as Americans are thirsty for full-flavored and local beers. But when small breweries grow, they can also risk losing some of the "craftiness" their fans love. And when they expand, many brewers have to rewrite their recipes — starting with the water.

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The Picture Show
3:38 am
Thu May 31, 2012

On The Way Back To Base: 'We're Gonna Get Shot At'

Sgt. Kyle Gonzales, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne, smokes a cigarette after a battle near the village of Babaker, Ghazni province. The soldiers have been engaged in gun battles every time they push into the hamlets north of their forward operating base.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 1:01 pm

U.S. and Afghan forces are fighting to gain control of a major crossroads in a part of Afghanistan that has seen so few NATO troops that one village elder mistook the Americans for Russians — from the long-ago Soviet war.

"It's an absolutely crucial area," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who has been embedded with U.S. troops involved in the offensive in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

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All Tech Considered
3:02 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Travel Apps That Help You Pack, Explore, And Enjoy The Scenery

An image from a demo of the Stuck on Earth app, which Lauren Goode of All Things D calls "a photographer's dream."
Stuck on Earth

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 7:59 am

Mobile phones and tablets have put a world of information at our fingertips, even when we're on the go. It would seem natural, then, for smartphones to help make traveling easier and more fun.

But not all apps are created equal — so Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep sought advice from Lauren Goode, a senior editor at All Things D, where she recently reviewed travel apps. Here are some of the tips Goode discussed with Steve:

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