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
1:45 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Makers Of the DipJar Hope That Dipping To Tip Catches On

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:46 am

As Americans increasingly rely on cards, not cash, to pay for small items like coffee and snacks, it's not always easy to tip the baristas and counter folks who make those transactions run smoothly. A new device called the "Dip Jar" might fix that, by allowing customers to dip a card to give $1 to the staff.

That might come as welcome news to workers behind the counter, who've seen debit and credit cards take over from cash. As a result, there's less change from which to pull a tip for the traditional jar that's often seen on counters where coffee, beer, or sandwiches are sold.

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The Two-Way
12:25 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Astronauts Return From Space Station, As An American Takes Command

The Soyuz capsule lands with Commander Gennady Padalka of Russia, NASA Flight Engineer Joe Acaba and Russian Flight Engineer Sergei Revin aboard, near the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan. The capsule's final meter of descent is eased by braking engines.
Carla Cioffi NASA

U.S. astronaut Sunita Williams is now in command of the International Space Station, after receiving control of the facility this weekend. Three departing astronauts whose capsule left the station early Monday landed safely three and a half hours later.

For NPR's Newscast, Peter van Dyk filed this report from Moscow:

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Syrian Documentary Producer Orwa Nyrabia Is Freed; Was Arrested Two Weeks Ago

A Syrian documentary film producer whose disappearance two weeks ago prompted concerns for his safety and a letter of support from the Toronto International Film Festival is now free, according to reports.

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The Two-Way
7:20 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Wikipedia Irks Philip Roth With Reluctance To Edit Entry About His Novel

Author Philip Roth resorted to an open letter to Wikipedia when his efforts to correct an error on the site were rebuffed. The entry in question was about his book, The Human Stain.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 8:24 pm

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The Two-Way
6:09 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Armless Archer Matt Stutzman Describes How He Shoots A Bow — And Wins Medals

Archer Matt Stutzman of the U.S. prepares to shoot in the London Paralympics. Born without arms, Stutzman uses a release trigger strapped to his shoulder to fire.
Dennis Grombkowski Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:18 pm

American Paralympian Matt Stutzman won the silver medal in archery this week, a feat he accomplished despite being born without arms. In the men's compound open final, he was narrowly beaten by Finland's Jere Forsberg, who has the use of both arms.

In the gold medal match, Forsberg fired a perfect 10 on his final arrow to avoid a shoot-off with Stutzman.

The Paralympics have helped Stutzman, who is from Fairfield, Iowa, become something of a celebrity, thanks to his competitive spirit and his refusal to let his talents go to waste.

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Texas Road Will Inaugurate 85 MPH Speed Limit, Nation's Highest

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 6:18 pm

The highest speed limit in America will be officially unveiled in November, when drivers on one portion of a Texas highway will be allowed to reach 85 mph without keeping an eye out for police cars and speed cameras.

As Transportation Nation reports, the new speed limit allows drivers to "legally drive faster than hurricane force winds."

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The Two-Way
6:32 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

S&P 500 Spikes To New Four-Year High On News About Europe, U.S. Jobs

The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose to levels it hasn't hit in more than four years today, bolstered by the European Central Bank's plan to buy bonds of struggling countries to help support the euro. Strong U.S. jobs data also contributed to the gains.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Achtung Beer Drinkers: Munich's Brewers Need Bottles, Kegs For Oktoberfest

Ahead of Oktoberfest, Munich's brewers say they're running short of bottles and kegs for the festival's beer. Here, glass beer steins are seen at last year's Oktoberfest.
Johannes Simon Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 12:29 am

German beer drinkers are eagerly awaiting Sept. 22, when the first Oktoberfest beer barrel will be tapped in Munich and two weeks of revelry begin. But when that happens, they might want to drink up — because the city's brewers are worried they won't be able to supply enough beer for the massive party and its huge beer tents.

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The Two-Way
7:32 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Secret Service Investigates Claim That Romney's Tax Returns Were Stolen

The Secret Service is looking into a claim that hackers stole several years' worth of tax returns filed by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Investigators are working to determine the legitimacy of a claim that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's tax records have been stolen from an accounting firm's records.

Naming a million-dollar price, an anonymous ransom note was sent to accounting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers. The letter, which was also posted online, gets right to the point: "Using your Office... we were able to gain access to your network file servers and copy over the tax documents for one Willard M Romney and Ann D Romney."

The note's author signs off with a perky "Cheers!"

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

SEAL Foundation Says It Won't Accept Money From Bin Laden Raid Book

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 6:44 am

Many reports have stated that Matt Bissonnette, the former Navy SEAL who wrote the book No Easy Day, plans to give a large share of his profits to the Navy SEAL Foundation, a group that aids Naval Special Warfare personnel and their families. But the foundation says it won't accept any money from the book, which has sparked questions over whether it contains classified details that could put U.S. military personnel at risk.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour's Trip To L.A. May Cause 400 Trees To Be Cut Down

A stump remains in the median of Manchester Boulevard as workers remove trees to clear a path for the space shuttle Endeavour in Inglewood, Calif., Tuesday. Residents are upset that 400 trees might be cut down to allow the shuttle to travel from the airport to its new home at a science center.
Reed Saxon AP

The space shuttle Endeavour will make its final trip next month, to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. But while most South L.A. residents are excited to have a piece of history nearby, many are also upset that the shuttle's 12-mile transit is forcing the city to cut down about 400 trees.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Racer Alex Zanardi Wins Gold Medal At London Paralympics

Alex Zanardi celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's individual H4 time trial cycling final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Brands Hatch circuit, in Kent, southern England. Zanardi's legs were amputated after a racecar crash in 2001.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:33 pm

Alex Zanardi, who was a star racecar driver when he lost his legs in a 2001 crash, has won a gold medal in the London Paralympics. The Italian, 45, beat Germany's Nobert Mosandl by more than 27 seconds to win the men's handcycle time trial. The race took place at Brands Hatch, a track that Zanardi has previously tackled behind the wheel of high-powered racecars.

"Last time I was here I was going about five times faster but I still love this circuit," he said this week.

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The Two-Way
7:23 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Pentagon Unhappy With 'No Easy Day,' As Book On Bin Laden Raid Tops Charts

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:37 am

Defense Department officials say that No Easy Day, former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonnette's book about the secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden, includes classified information that may harm U.S. military operations. The book went on sale yesterday despite the Pentagon's warnings of possible legal action last week.

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The Two-Way
5:32 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

To Some Runners, Zombies Are A Killer Motivator

A runner tries to escape with his life as zombies pursue him during the Run for Your Lives race. The 5K course is littered with obstacles — and the undead.
HGL

Some people run for charity; some run for their health. And some run because it's the only way to escape the ravenous brain-eating zombies who chase them. No, that's not a movie plot. It's essentially the pitch for Run for Your Lives, a "zombie-infested 5K obstacle race" whose popularity has surprised even its organizers.

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The Two-Way
6:52 pm
Mon September 3, 2012

'Green Mile' Actor Michael Clarke Duncan Dies At 54

Michael Clarke Duncan, seen here in 2010, has died at age 54 in a Los Angeles hospital. The actor appeared in more than 70 films, including blockbusters such as Armageddon and Kung Fu Panda.
Angela Weiss Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:48 am

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan has died at age 54, according to his fiancee, the Rev. Omarosa Manigault. Known for his huge size and deep, resonant voice, Duncan received an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Green Mile, the 1999 prison film in which he starred alongside Tom Hanks.

Duncan's death was announced by Manigault, who in July said that she performed CPR on the actor after finding him in a state of cardiac arrest late at night.

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The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Navy Lieutenant Swims To Gold In London Paralympics, Months After Injury

U.S. swimmer Bradley Snyder poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 100m freestyle - S11 final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 10:33 pm

Less than one year after being blinded by an explosion in Afghanistan, U.S. swimmer Bradley Snyder has won a gold medal in the men's 100m freestyle at the 2012 Paralympics. He also set a new Paralympic record during a qualifying heat earlier Friday.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Thieves Hit Warehouse Holding $30 Million Of Canadian Maple Syrup

Maple syrup bottles sit on a shelf. A Canadian syrup producers' federation says a warehouse holding "over 10 million pounds of maple syrup" was recently burglarized.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 6:27 pm

Every nation stockpiles vital resources — think of the U.S. Petroleum Reserve, for instance. In Canada, they have warehouses holding millions of pounds of maple syrup. And recently, one of them was the site of what may be "the sweetest heist of all time," as The Vancouver Sun reports.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Bradley Manning's Trial Set To Begin In February In WikiLeaks Case

The trial of Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private accused of passing hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website, has been scheduled to begin in early February. That news came on the last of three days of pretrial hearings held in Fort Meade, Md., this week.

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Paralympics Begin In London, Near 'Spiritual Home' Of Games

A team of torchbearers brings the Paralympic flame through Piccadilly Circus as the torch heads across London to the Olympic Stadium. The Paralympic Games' opening ceremony will be held Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
LOCOG Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 3:23 pm

More than 4,000 athletes from 147 countries will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, where the opening ceremony is being held today. The games, which conclude on Sept. 9, include 20 sports such as cycling, judo and swimming — three sports that will hold medal events when competition begins in earnest Thursday.

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The Two-Way
6:48 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Computer Troubles Freeze United Airlines' System, Bringing A Cascade Of Delays

Two United Airlines planes sit at a terminal at San Francisco International Airport Friday. The airport briefly refused to accept any domestic arrivals Tuesday, after a computer crash disrupted United's system.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:51 pm

Many travelers using United Airlines faced delays Tuesday, but they weren't connected to Hurricane Isaac. Instead, the airline's computer network crashed, leaving large parts of its system paralyzed Tuesday afternoon.

First noted around 2:15 p.m. EDT, the problems persisted until about 6:30 p.m. EDT, when the airline tweeted that it is "in the process of resuming operations and rebooking customers."

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The Two-Way
1:53 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

On Chinese Beaches, The Face-Kini Is In Fashion

Chinese beachgoers wear face-kinis in Qingdao, northeast China's Shandong province. The face masks allow people to enjoy the water and sand — but not the effects of the sun.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 3:14 pm

In China, it's the height of the tourist season for Qingdao's famed beaches. But while many of the town's visitors want to enjoy the sand and water, they're not so wild about sunbathing. So they often resort to a local tradition: the face-kini, a sort of light cloth version of a ski mask.

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

President Obama's Tour Bus Rolls With White House Home Brew

President Barack Obama gets a beer and a pork chop as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Earlier, the president gave a man at a coffee shop a bottle of the White House's home brew.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:27 am

It seemed normal enough when President Obama chatted with a coffee shop patron about beer in Iowa Tuesday. The president has shown he's a fan of beer — and it's the most politically expedient, "everyman" beverage a candidate can drink. But then the president told a man at Knoxville, Iowa's Coffee Connection cafe that he travels with his own home-brew — and gave him a bottle to prove it.

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The Torch
7:10 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

The Torch Is Out: Olympic Moments Will Burn On

Three photos show the Olympic flame slowly extinguishing at London's Olympic Stadium, as the London 2012 Games come to an end. The next Summer Olympics will be in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Damien Meyer AFP/Getty Images

It's time to extinguish The Torch, and end NPR's three-week marathon of Olympic coverage. From the London Games' opening ceremony through 302 medal events, these Summer Olympics have fed fans a rich diet of history and spectacle. I only wish I'd been able to eat it all — but part of the Olympics' allure is that its smorgasbord is over-stuffed with intense competition.

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The Torch
5:51 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

London 2012 Games Set A Viewership Record, At 219.4 Million

It's nearly time to extinguish The Torch, and end NPR's little marathon of Olympic coverage. Before we do, we must note that the games have now become the most-watched television event in U.S. history, with a total of 219.4 viewers over 17 days of coverage.

Those high ratings push the London Games past Beijing 2008, which held the previous record of 215 million viewers. The number seems to include only NBC's TV audience, not mobile or online.

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The Torch
4:56 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Gabby Douglas Gets One More Gold, For Winning Facebook Fans

Gabby Douglas sits in the Olympic Media Lounge at Westfield Stratford City in London. During the Olympics, Douglas' Facebook fanbase grew by nearly 4,000 percent.
Alex Grimm Getty Images for adidas

They've been called the first "Social Games" — and the London Summer Olympics have delivered on that promise, making social stars out of athletes like gymnast Gabby Douglas, who saw her Facebook fanbase grow by nearly 4,000 percent during the games.

Gymnasts Marcel Nguyen and Jordyn Wieber were also among the big winners on Facebook, according to a research firm that tracked athletes' fan numbers during the games.

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