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
5:49 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Obama Says 'James Flacco.' The Internet Says, Thank You

Actor James Franco (left), seen here with The Interview co-star Seth Rogen, was called "James Flacco" by President Obama Friday. Afterward, the jokes poured in.
Getty Images

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama meant to talk about James Franco and instead said "James Flacco" — on a Friday marking the full-on start of the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received by people on Twitter and elsewhere.

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The Two-Way
3:53 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says

"I didn't want to fire things up," St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch says of his silence since announcing the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 4:40 pm

Some witnesses were clearly lying when they spoke to a grand jury about the August police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., according to St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch. In an interview about the case Friday, the prosecutor says he won't seek perjury charges.

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The Two-Way
2:22 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Instagram Is Now Valued At $35 Billion By Citigroup Analysts

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 3:19 pm

Less than three years after Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion, the photo-sharing service is now worth $35 billion, according to analysts at Citigroup.

Instagram's user base has skyrocketed since the acquisition, in part because of its integration with Facebook but also because the purchase roughly coincided with the release of an Instagram app for Android smartphones.

Earlier this month, Instagram announced that it surpassed 300 million users.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

In List Of Changes For Secret Service, A New Fence Comes First

A review panel says changes are needed at the Secret Service — along with a better fence at the White House. Here, members of the Secret Service Uniformed Division stand in front of the White House.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:46 pm

The Secret Service must both change the way it trains agents and hire more of them, according to a panel that reviewed the agency that has endured a string of embarrassing lapses in recent months. The panel says its suggestions are "a road map for reform" under a new director.

Some of those suggestions are inherently practical — such as one that states "the fence around the White House needs to be changed as soon as possible to provide better protection."

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The Two-Way
4:34 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Issues 12 Pardons, Commutes 8 Sentences

President Obama commuted the prison sentences of eight people who were convicted of drug-related crimes Wednesday, in a move that also saw 12 presidential pardons issued, for offenses ranging from theft to running an illegal distillery.

Half of the eight whose sentences were commuted had been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Citing "unduly harsh sentences issued for drug offenses under an outdated sentencing regime," a White House official said Wednesday that all eight of those who were punished for drug offenses "would receive a substantially lower sentence today."

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Google News Is Taken Offline In Spain, After A Call For Payments

Reacting to a law that requires news sites in Spain to charge for their content, Google shut down its Google News service in the country Tuesday. The tech company and other news aggregators would face steep fines if they publish headlines and abstracts without paying.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Suspect In Shooting Spree Near Philadelphia Has Been Found Dead

Police cordon off a wooded area during the search for suspect Bradley William Stone in Pennsburg, Pa., Tuesday.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:12 pm

Bradley Stone, who police say went on a shooting rampage that killed six people in Montgomery County, Pa., has been found dead. Police had been looking for Stone, 35, for more than 24 hours; they found his body today.

Member station WHYY passes along this update from the Bucks County District Attorney's office:

"Authorities have confirmed that suspected mass killer Bradley Stone is dead, his body found in the woods near his Pennsburg home."

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The Two-Way
2:03 am
Tue December 16, 2014

2015 Rock Hall Of Fame Class Includes Lou Reed, Joan Jett, Green Day

Billie Joe Armstrong (left) and Mike Dirnt of Green Day play the Reading Festival. Green Day and five other acts will join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year.
Yui Mok PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:49 am

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The Two-Way
6:31 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

The U.S. Has A Surgeon General, For The First Time In 17 Months

More than a year after he was nominated, Dr. Vivek Murthy was confirmed as the next surgeon general Monday. Back in February, Murthy testified about his nomination before a Senate panel.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 7:14 pm

A job that's been open in President Obama's administration since July of 2013 was finally filled Monday, as the Senate voted to confirm Vivek Murthy as America's new surgeon general.

The tally was 51-43, ending a confirmation process that began after Obama nominated Murthy to the post in November of 2013 — yes, that's one year ago.

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The Two-Way
4:20 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Tennessee Governor Moves To Expand Medicaid Coverage

Gov. Bill Haslam announces his proposal to expand Medicaid in Tennessee at the state Capitol in Nashville Monday.
Erik Schelzig AP

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:45 pm

Following the lead of other Republican governors, Tennessee's Gov. Bill Haslam is moving to expand Medicaid in his state, using federal funds from the Affordable Care Act. Haslam announced the plan Monday morning; it'll be debated by the legislature next month.

From Nashville, Bobby Allyn of member station WPLN reports:

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The Two-Way
3:36 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Search Is On For Gunman Who Left 6 Relatives Dead Near Philadelphia

Police say Bradley William Stone, 35, killed six people in attacks at three locations early Monday.
Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:54 pm

Police are looking for a man accused of killing six people in Montgomery County, Pa., Monday. Officials say the gunman is Bradley William Stone, 35, who also left one person seriously wounded.

Reports and details are still coming in about this developing situation; we'll update this post as news emerges. While we expecting an official news conference to begin soon, for now we're relying on local media reports and earlier news releases.

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The Two-Way
4:48 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Dingell Admitted To Hospital, One Day After Casting Last Vote In House

Rep. John Dingell, seen here in June, was admitted to a hospital Friday as a precautionary measure. The Democrat is retiring as the longest-serving member of Congress in U.S. history.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress in history, was admitted to a hospital in Washington, D.C., as a precaution Friday, one day after casting the final vote in his nearly 60 years in Congress.

The Michigan Democrat's office didn't give details on Dingell's condition, other than to say he was under observation and "resting comfortably." Dingell visited a doctor's office earlier this week, after he fell down and bruised his hip.

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The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Staffers Walk Out Of Congress In Protest Over Brown And Garner Cases

Black congressional staffers hold their hands up as they pose for a group photo during a walkout on on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Thursday, in a protest over the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 6:15 pm

Dozens of congressional staff members walked out of the Capitol at 3:30 p.m. ET Thursday, in a show of support for protesters angered by recent grand jury decisions not to indict police officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Cromnibus' Spending Bill Passes, Just Hours Before Deadline

The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk Thursday. The House approved a massive spending bill just hours before a midnight deadline to fund the federal government.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:08 am

Post updated at 9:38 p.m. ET.

A massive federal spending bill finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than three hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Watch: Navy Ship Uses Energy Weapon In Persian Gulf

A laser weapon system on the USS Ponce, which has been deployed to the Persian Gulf. The Navy released a video showing the system taking target practice.
John F. Williams U.S. Navy

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:30 am

It's not Star Wars on the high seas — but the U.S. Navy says it has made a "historic leap" by deploying a laser weapon system for the first time. The Navy released a video showing a LaWS — shorthand for "laser weapon system" — being used by the USS Ponce during target practice in the Persian Gulf.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

The NFL's Owners Approve New Off-Field Conduct Policy

The new NFL conduct policy includes a "baseline" suspension of six games without pay for a first violation of domestic abuse and sexual assault cases.
Rick Osentoski AP

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 6:10 pm

As it nears the end of a season marred by allegations of domestic abuse by players, the NFL's owners voted to strengthen the league's personal conduct policy Wednesday. The changes include a "baseline" suspension of six games without pay for a first violation in domestic abuse and sexual assault cases.

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The Two-Way
6:11 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

After $4.75 Million Auction, Watson Will Get Nobel Medal Back

The 1962 Nobel Prize Medal in Medicine or Physiology that James Watson sold at auction last week will be returned to him, at the buyer's request.
Christie's

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 6:27 pm

It was the first time a living Nobel Prize recipient had ever sold his medal. And now scientist James Watson, 86, will hang on to the medal he won for his work on DNA, after a Russian billionaire who bought the medal for $4.75 million at auction says he wants Watson to keep it.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Nut Rumpus Prompts Korean Airline Exec To Apologize And Resign

Cho Hyun-ah, the daughter of Korean Air's chairman and CEO, has apologized and resigned from a position at the airline after a backlash over her kicking a steward off a recent flight. Cho was angered by the presentation of macadamia nuts.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 1:42 pm

Cho Hyun-ah, whose family runs Korean Air, caused a stir over the weekend after she demanded that a Korea-bound jetliner return to a gate at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where it had been preparing to take off.

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The Two-Way
2:20 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

NFL Quarterback Cam Newton Injures Back In Car Crash

A truck driven by Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton sits near Bank of America Stadium after the quarterback was involved in an accident Tuesday.
Skip Foreman AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 4:39 pm

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two fractured in his back Tuesday but escaped without other injury, after a vehicle he was driving crashed around 12:30 p.m. ET. The truck reportedly flipped several times on a bridge in central Charlotte, where Church Street passes over Interstate 277.

"The severity of Newton's injuries was not immediately available but witnesses told Channel 9 that Newton's truck flipped four times," WSOC Channel 9 TV reports.

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The Two-Way
5:22 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

(Not) Eaten Alive: A Snake Tale, Made For TV

A still image from the Discovery TV special Eaten Alive, which angered some viewers after it aired Sunday.
Discovery

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 1:31 pm

The outcome of an outlandish TV stunt Sunday night didn't go down well with many viewers, who say they were duped into expecting that the Discovery special Eaten Alive would actually portray a man being ingested by an anaconda.

But that didn't happen, forcing the network to defend the program today by saying it had been naturalist Paul Rosolie's "absolute intention to be eaten alive."

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The Two-Way
5:45 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

At Beer Mile Championships, Scientist Sets New Women's Record

In an image from video of the men's event at the Beer Mile World Championships, competitors are seen poised to open their beers, which they'll guzzle before taking off on their first of four laps.
Flocast

In a dizzying finish, American scientist Elizabeth Herndon set a new women's world record in the Beer Mile World Championships in Austin, Texas, last night, breaking through a tight field to obliterate the previous mark by 11 seconds.

In the men's race, Canadian mailman Corey Gallagher relied on fast drinking to separate himself from the field, turning in a time a hair over 5 minutes, just three seconds off the men's world record.

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The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

NYC Police Will Be Retrained, De Blasio Says At News Conference

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 6:08 pm

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton have announced plans to give training to police officers to help them treat all citizens with equal respect and with equal regard for their safety.

"These changes are happening because the people demanded it," de Blasio said.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

'Black Lives Matter,' NYC Mayor Says After Grand Jury Doesn't Indict Officer

Eric Garner (right) poses with his children. A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer over Garner's death in July.
Family photo via National Action Network AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 1:34 pm

A grand jury has decided not to indict a New York police officer in the death of Eric Garner on a Staten Island sidewalk this past July.

"It's a very painful day for so many New Yorkers," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

The encounter between Garner and officer Daniel Pantaleo caused an uproar after video footage of the incident was released. It showed Garner repeatedly gasping, "I can't breathe," as Pantaleo and other officers took him to the ground.

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Twitter Targets Trolls With New Rules On Abuse

An image from a Twitter video shows how a user would report harassment under a new process announced Tuesday.
Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 8:48 pm

Saying it wants to build "a safer Twitter," the company is announcing changes to two areas: how it handles harassment and the tools that let users block people who've sent abusive messages. One woman who has experienced such abuse calls the change "a big step up."

Twitter announced the changes in a blog post Tuesday, which reads in part:

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

A #SadTree Lot: Your Photos Of The Charlie Browniest Trees

So festive: Latte the Pomeranian poses in a reader-submitted photo, part of a look at the humblest Christmas trees.
Lindsey Gelormini/Twitter

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:20 pm

To mark 50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas airing on American televisions, our readers are sharing photos and memories of Christmas trees that reflect the spirit of that TV classic: a bit forlorn, perhaps, but full of heart.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Chicago Council Strongly Approves $13 Minimum Wage

A new minimum wage was approved Tuesday in Chicago, where fast food workers and activists demonstrated outside McDonald's downtown restaurant this summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:13 pm

By a 44-5 vote, Chicago's City Council set a minimum-wage target of $13 an hour, to be reached by the middle of 2019. The move comes after Illinois passed a nonbinding advisory last month that calls for the state to raise its minimum pay level to $10 by the start of next year.

The current minimum wage in Chicago and the rest of Illinois is $8.25. Under the ordinance, the city's minimum wage will rise to $10 by next July and go up in increments each summer thereafter.

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The Two-Way
6:24 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

50 Years Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas': Share Your Sad Tree Photos

Charlie Brown and Linus pick out a scrawny tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The beloved show is airing for the 50th year Tuesday.
United Feature Syndicate Inc. AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:31 am

"This little green one here seems to need a home."

And with that, Charlie Brown picks out a scrawny tree that even his friend Linus doesn't see fitting "the modern spirit" of Christmas. Lucy, he says, will not be happy.

As you likely know, the tree embodies the spirit of A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special that has proven to be timeless and is now airing in its 50th year.

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The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Bill Cosby Resigns From Temple University's Board

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 5:53 pm

In the latest development after a series of rape allegations were made against him, comedian Bill Cosby has resigned from the board of trustees at Temple University. The move was announced in a short news release in which Cosby cited "the best interests of the university and its students."

Cosby has had a lasting relationship with Temple, dating back to his first years at the school in the 1960s (he dropped out to pursue his comedy career but returned to graduate in 1971).

On Monday, the school issued a short news release, consisting of two statements:

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The Two-Way
1:41 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Protests Of Grand Jury Decision Fan Out Across The Country

People gather outside the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters on Tuesday.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 9:04 am

Updated at 6:54 a.m.

Public reaction to a Missouri grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has ranged from fire and looting close to where Wilson shot Michael Brown to peaceful protests nearby.

Other protests were held in large and small cities and college towns across America on Tuesday; photos from those scenes show a variety of demonstrators, tactics and responses.

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The Two-Way
5:07 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Missouri Governor Adds 'Significantly' To National Guard In Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said that parts of Ferguson were "a heartbreaking sight" Tuesday, with residents afraid to go outside.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 5:43 pm

"The violence we saw in areas of Ferguson last night cannot be repeated," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday, announcing that he is sending hundreds more members of the National Guard to the city that saw intense looting on Monday night.

"Last night, criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community," Nixon said, "burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts, and looting family businesses — many for the second time."

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