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
6:44 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 8:49 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
4:26 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 6:59 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
3:11 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 6:08 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
12:08 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 12:56 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
8:14 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Supreme Court Rejects Gay Wedding Photography Case

Originally published on Tue April 8, 2014 3:48 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
5:56 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 8:21 am

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The Two-Way
4:29 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 8:13 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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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

'Deltopia' Spring Break Party Morphs Into Riot In Santa Barbara

A video image from KEYT-TV shows a crowd confronting police during a weekend college party in Southern California that devolved into a street brawl. About 100 people were arrested and at least 44 people were taken to the hospital.
KEYT AP

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 12:33 pm

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Obama Is Poised To Sign Executive Order On Equal Pay And Contractors

Seeking to advance the cause of equal pay for women, President Obama plans to sign an executive order Tuesday barring federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries with each other.

Federal contractors would also be forced to give the Labor Department data about their employees' pay along with their race and gender, under new rules the president is instructing the agency to adopt.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Women's Final Four: Powerhouse Teams Match Up

Connecticut players stretch during practice on the court hosting the women's Final Four in Nashville. The games tip off today with a 6:30 p.m. ET start time.
John Bazemore AP

Two undefeated teams are still alive in the women's NCAA basketball tournament – and they could meet in a record-setting final Tuesday, if Connecticut and Notre Dame can get past Stanford and Maryland, respectively, on Sunday. The four programs have all won national championships in the past.

The teams will play in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Here are Sunday's tip-off times on ESPN and WatchESPN online, all times Eastern:

  • Maryland vs. Notre Dame: 6:30 p.m.
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The Two-Way
6:36 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Atlanta Archbishop Will Sell Mansion Built With Church Money

This new $2.2 million mansion brought a backlash against Atlanta Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who says he will move out of the house in the city's upscale Buckhead neighborhood.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 4:29 am

The archbishop of Atlanta is apologizing for building a multimillion-dollar home with money earmarked for charitable use. Anger erupted over Archbishop Wilton Gregory's $2.2 million mansion last month. The Tudor-style mansion is in Buckhead, one of the city's priciest neighborhoods.

From Atlanta, member station WABE's Jim Burress reports:

"Atlanta's Archbishop says he was wrong to spend so much money.

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Mudslide Tragedy: Donations Outpace Capacity In Oso

Gabriella Botamanenko (center left) hugs her mother, Angela Botamanenko, during a vigil for mudslide victims at the Darrington Community Center Saturday. A March 22 mudslide in a nearby community killed at least 30 and left many missing.
David Ryder Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 6:46 am

It's been two weeks since the massive mudslide came down on a tiny mountain community in Washington state. The disaster killed 30 people; 13 are still missing. The tragedy prompted an outpouring of donations — and officials in Oso say they don't have room for more items.

Federal disaster relief officials are visiting the site Sunday, as member station KUOW's Sara Lerner reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
4:53 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Search For Flight MH370: Ship Detects Pulse Signal Again

Angus Houston, head of the Joint Agency Coordination Center leading the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, says ships are being sent to investigate reports of a signal being detected on a frequency used by black box equipment.
Tony Ashby AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 9:42 am

Ships and search planes are being sent to investigate a pulse signal that a Chinese patrol ship outfitted with a black-box detector picked up twice this weekend, says Australia's Angus Houston, who is leading the international search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. But he adds that it's too early to say whether the signal is a breakthrough in the search.

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The Two-Way
3:26 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Peter Matthiessen Dies At 86; Wrote Of Travels In The Natural World

Writer Peter Matthiessen died Saturday at age 86 after a long fight with leukemia, according to his publisher. Here, he stands in the yard of his house in Sagaponack, N.Y., in 2004.
Ed Betz AP

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 6:31 am

Author Peter Matthiessen, who used fiction and nonfiction to explore how man relates to nature, has died at 86. The revered naturalist and novelist had been suffering from leukemia; he died Saturday afternoon, his publisher confirmed.

In a career that began in the 1950s, Matthiessen connected readers to people and places that were being irrevocably changed by the modern world. And in the process, he often gave them a window into the changes that shaped his own life, as well.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Sat April 5, 2014

An Astronaut Asks: What Does This Cloud Look Like?

Do you see what I see? That's the question Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield asks about this image he took from the International Space Station.
Cmdr_Hadfield

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 4:54 am

The image comes from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who gained fans last year when he he tweeted photos from the International Space Station, along with his refreshingly wide-eyed excitement at being in orbit.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Dispute Came Before Fort Hood Shooting, Witnesses Say

U.S. Spc. Ivan Lopez is pictured in the Sinai Peninsula between 2007 and 2008, during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard in an undated handout photo by PR National Guard. Lopez killed three other soldiers and himself at Fort Hood, Texas, this week, officials say.
Reuters /Landov

The soldier who is believed to have killed three people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, had argued with fellow soldiers over paperwork shortly before violence erupted Wednesday, according to numerous accounts.

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The Two-Way
8:46 am
Sat April 5, 2014

NCAA Men's Final Four: Showdown In Texas

The NCAA Final Four gets underway at 6:09 p.m. ET Saturday, as the men's college basketball tournament heads toward its conclusion with Monday night's championship game. Here, Wisconsin players exercise on the court.
David J. Phillip AP

March Madness lives on into April. There are only four teams left in the men's NCAA bracket, as Kentucky, Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin vie for spots in Monday night's championship game.

Here are the tip-off times for today's Final Four; the two games will air on TBS (all times Eastern):

  • Florida vs. Connectucit: 6:09 p.m.
  • Wisconsin vs Kentucky: 8:49 p.m.

Here are some highlights of coverage we're seeing:

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Ban On Stores' Late Hours Is Lawful, French Court Says

The Paris Sephora store, seen here on a night last fall night on the Champs-Elysees, must close at 9 p.m., a high court has ruled. The cosmetics chain had required workers to keep the store open until midnight.
Kenzo Tribouillard AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 4:53 am

France's ban keeping stores from being open late at night does not run afoul of the country's constitution, a top court has ruled. Cosmetics retailer Sephora had hoped to keep its flagship Paris store open until midnight. Instead, the shop must observe the traditional closing time of 9 p.m., according to the ruling.

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The Two-Way
3:40 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Chinese Ship Reportedly Detects 'Pulse Signal' In Search For Airliner

A map shows the location of a pulse signal that was reportedly detected by a Chinese patrol ship searching for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. China's state-run media says the signal is being investigated as a possible clue to the missing airliner's final location.
Google Maps

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 6:59 am

A Chinese Coast Guard ship has detected an ultrasonic pulse on a frequency used by black box recorders, according to China's state news agency, fueling new hope that searchers might be closing in on a beacon from the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that vanished weeks ago. The ship found the pulse signal in the south Indian Ocean, Xinhua says.

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Tue April 1, 2014

GM CEO Barra Is Grilled Over Handling Of Ignition Switch Defect

As members of Congress prepared to hear testimony from GM's CEO Tuesday, Ken and Jayne Rimer, whose daughter, Natasha Weigel, died in the crash of a 2005 Chevy Cobalt, spoke at a news conference held by family members of deceased drivers.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

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

In a hearing before the House Oversight and Investigations panel, GM CEO Mary Barra and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman testify Tuesday on concerns surrounding GM's recall of a faulty ignition switch that's been linked to more than a dozen deaths.

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Too French? Nike Rolls Out U.S. World Cup Soccer Uniforms

U.S. men's national team captain models the new World Cup uniform. The kit, unveiled by Nike Tuesday, uses wide bands of color instead of stars or stripes.
Nike

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:31 pm

The jerseys America's soccer players will wear at this summer's World Cup are out – and they're attracting attention with their striking departure from previous designs. The uniforms use large swaths of red, white, and blue, in a combination some are comparing to the French national flag. Others say it looks like the Russian flag.

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The Two-Way
5:38 am
Tue April 1, 2014

When The Twit Hit The Fan: 'I'm Still Here,' Colbert Says

Stephen Colbert responded to criticism about a tweet about his show from his TV network Monday, saying he would dismantle the imaginary foundation that created the stir.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 12:32 pm

In his first show since a controversy erupted over a Comedy Central tweet about one of his skits last week, Stephen Colbert poked fun at the media, his network and himself Monday night, declaring that despite a #CancelColbert campaign against his show on Twitter, "I'm still here."

The tweet in question, you'll recall, referred to a Colbert skit that aired Wednesday in which he made fun of the Washington Redskins and the team's owner, Dan Snyder, for creating the Original Americans Foundation rather than changing the NFL team's mascot, as critics have demanded.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

I'm Darth Vader, And I Approve This Message

A man dressed as Darth Vader announced his candidacy for office, representing the Internet Party of Ukraine. The dark lord spoke at his party's conference in Kiev on Saturday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:12 am

Ukraine's presidential election season took an interesting turn over the weekend, as Darth Vader declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office, promising that he knows what it takes to rebuild an empire.

"I alone can make an empire out of a republic to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," said Vader, according to Agence France-Presse.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Hobie Alter, A Legend In Surfing And Sailing, Dies At 80

Hobie Alter, an innovator whose ideas brought surfing and sailing to wide audiences, died this weekend. Here, one of his Hobie Cat sailboats is seen sailing past North Head in Sydney, Australia.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:08 pm

Hobie Alter, whose innovations helped thousands of people go surfing and sailing, died in California on Saturday at age 80. In the 1950s, Alter helped perfect a foam-core surfboard that revolutionized the sport. A decade later, his iconic Hobie Cat catamaran design opened the world of sailing to a wider audience.

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Albuquerque Protest Of Fatal Police Shootings Turns Into Chaos

Riot police faced off with protesters Sunday, during a demonstration against recent police shootings in Albuquerque, N.M. The march lasted at least nine hours.
Russell Contreras AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:54 am

An hours-long protest against recent police shootings spun out of control late Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M., as officers in riot gear reportedly used tear gas and other methods to break up crowds. Hundreds of people took part in the rally, which spread over several streets.

Protesters eventually clashed with police, who threw gas canisters and charged at members of the crowd to break up the gathering, according to The Associated Press, which quotes the city's Mayor Richard Berry calling the situation Sunday night "mayhem."

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The Two-Way
4:42 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Japan Must Halt Whaling Program In Antarctic, Court Says

Packs of whale meat are seen in a specialty store in Tokyo last week. An international court ruled Monday that Japan must stop issuing permits to hunt whales in the Antarctic.
Shizuo Kambayashi AP

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 8:04 am

An international court has ordered Japan to revoke whaling permits in the Antarctic and stop granting new ones.

The country's government had argued that hunting whales was part of a research program, but the International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan hasn't generated enough scientific research to justify killing hundreds of whales. Critics said the hunts were instead a way to justify commercial hunting.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Martina Hingis Wins Doubles Title, First Since 2007

Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Sabine Lisicki of Germany celebrate match point during Sunday's final of the Sony Open. The pair won, bringing Hingis her first victory since 2007.
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

In perhaps the most compelling match of her comeback to elite tennis, Martina Hingis won the doubles title at the Sony Open Sunday, playing alongside Sabine Lisicki. The pair entered the tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., on a wild card granted by organizers.

"I definitely did not think I would be standing here," Hingis said of the win, according to the Sony Open website. "Hopefully, I'll be back."

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Sun March 30, 2014

The Ides Of March Madness: 'Who's Gonna Stop Prospero?'

Paul Edward O'Brien, a stage actor, poet, and oncologist, delivered a Game Day-style analysis of how William Shakespeare's plays would match up in a tournament bracket.
Wesley Moore

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 11:16 am

What if William Shakespeare's plays faced off in a tournament, like basketball squads spewing Elizabethan verse? That's the idea behind a bracket that pits 32 of the bard's plays against each another, in a contest arranged by New York's New Victory Theater.

Much like the NCAA basketball tournament that inspired it, the theater has been tallying votes and updating its bracket on its road to Stratford-upon-Avon.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Sun March 30, 2014

New Photo Of Prince George Pleases The Internet

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, pose with their son, Prince George, for an official family portrait at Kensington Palace.
Jason Bell - Camera Press Getty Images

Britain's monarchy has released a new photo of Prince George, the 8-month-old son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, showing a cute boy who's more taken with the family dog than with having his picture taken.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Egypt's Presidential Election Is Set For Late May

Egypt will hold its presidential election on May 26 and 27, a government election commission announced Sunday. The results aren't likely to be declared until late June; many expect the country's former military chief to win the office.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"The date was set days after Egypt's military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced his resignation from the army and declared that he plans to run for president. The elections will begin at the end of May, and a winner will be declared by June 26.

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