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
4:59 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

Ferry Transcript Shows Confusion And Panic: 'Please Come Quickly'

A relative waits for word of missing passengers of a sunken ferry in Jindo, South Korea. A newly released transcript depicts a scene of confusion on the stricken ferry as it sank.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 5:56 am

For more than 40 minutes as their ship foundered last Wednesday, crew members of the South Korean ferry Sewol spoke with local maritime traffic services about a possible rescue. The conversation centered on getting help to the ship and on getting its passengers off the ferry, according to a transcript released Sunday.

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The Two-Way
4:29 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

It's 4:20 On 4/20: Denver Hosts The Cannabis Cup Today

With the Colorado state capitol in the background, Cannabis Cup attendees dance and smoke pot at the annual 4/20 marijuana festival in Denver.
Brennan Linsley AP

Tens of thousands of people are attending the Cannabis Cup in Denver this weekend, the first time the marijuana festival and trade show is held in Colorado since the state legalized recreational pot in January.

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The Two-Way
12:39 pm
Sun April 20, 2014

The Florida Church Whose Worshipers Are All Tourists

A map image shows the exterior of the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe, a church that serves tourists visiting Walt Disney World in Florida.
Google Maps

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 2:31 pm

Easter Sunday is a busy time for many Christian churches. And for one Florida church, "busy" only begins to describe it. The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Universe has no permanent members, but it will host tens of thousands of worshipers today.

That's because the church is across the street from Walt Disney World. The main basilica was built in the early 1990s, to give visitors to the resort complex a place to worship. As its website clarifies, Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine is not a parish church.

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The Two-Way
11:31 am
Sun April 20, 2014

'Hurricane' Carter Dies; Boxer Was Wrongfully Convicted Of Murder

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Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the former boxer who spent years wrongfully incarcerated for murder, has died at age 76. his life inspired a Bob Dylan protest song and the film Hurricane, starring Denzel Washington.
Paul Kane Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 2:24 pm

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, the former boxing champion whose conviction for a triple murder was overturned after he served nearly 20 years in prison, has died of prostate cancer. Carter, whose story inspired a Bob Dylan song and a Denzel Washington film, was 76.

Carter was a contender for the middleweight boxing crown in the 1960s, but his life and career were derailed when he and another man were convicted of three murders that took place at a bar in Paterson, N.J., in 1966.

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Ukraine: Deadly Gunfight Rattles Easter Truce

A local resident inspects burnt-out cars after a night gunfight at a checkpoint under control of pro-Russian militants in the village of Bulbasika near Slovyansk Sunday.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 5:04 pm

A shootout at a checkpoint killed at least two people in eastern Ukraine Sunday, according to multiple reports. The violence comes on the heels of an agreement between Ukraine, Russia and the West that calls for armed groups to disband; that pact led officials to announce a truce for this Easter weekend.

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The Two-Way
8:41 am
Sun April 20, 2014

Pope Francis Leads Easter Mass For Thousands

Pope Francis delivers his blessing from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica Sunday, after leading Easter Mass in the Vatican.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 2:18 pm

A crowd estimated at more than 150,000 people gathered in St. Peter's Square for an Easter Mass led by Pope Francis on Sunday. The pope gave his traditional blessing on the most important day of the Christian calendar; he also called for help for people who are living in desperate conditions.

From Rome, NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

GM Was Slow To Recall Saturn Cars With Steering Flaw

Workers carry out a final inspection of a Saturn Ion at a GM plant in 2004. The model is at the center of a new safety recall over power steering problems.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 10:13 am

General Motors delayed a safety recall of more than 330,000 Saturn cars that have been found to have defective power steering systems, newly released federal documents show. The records also show federal regulators didn't demand a recall of the cars, despite thousands of complaints about them.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Mount Everest: Avalanche Death Toll Rises To 13

Nepalese search team members rescue a survivor of an avalanche on Mount Everest on Friday. At least 13 Nepalese guides preparing routes for commercial climbers were killed by an avalanche in the most deadly mountaineering accident ever on the world's highest peak.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 21, 2014 10:59 am

Search teams have recovered the body of the 13th victim of a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest. Crews are digging through a mass of ice and snow in an unstable ice field on the world's tallest mountain in hopes of finding Sherpa guides who are still missing.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Pakistani TV Journalist Hamid Mir Wounded In Attack

A Pakistani policeman points to the damaged car that was carrying Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir when he was attacked in Karachi Saturday. Mir is reportedly out of immediate danger.
Asif Hassan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 7:38 am

Prominent TV anchor Hamid Mir is in a Karachi hospital after gunmen opened fire on his car Saturday afternoon. Mir's car was ambushed by attackers, at least some of whom were riding motorcycles, according to local media reports.

Details about the attack are still emerging. Citing police, Mir's broadcast network, Geo TV, says he arrived at a hospital in critical condition after being shot three times in the leg and torso. Mir's driver reportedly escaped injury; the gunmen remain at large.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Sat April 19, 2014

Ancient Landscape Is Found Under 2 Miles Of Ice In Greenland

A new study suggests the Greenland Ice Sheet did not fully melt during previous periods of global warming — and that it preserved a tundra beneath it.
Joshua Brown University of Vermont

Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 7:23 am

In a surprising discovery, scientists have found evidence of a tundra landscape in Greenland that's millions of years old. The revelation goes against widely held ideas about how some glaciers work, and it suggests that at least parts of Greenland's ice sheet had survived periods of global warming intact.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Ukraine Calls An Easter Truce In Clash With Militants

A masked guard holds a young boy at a barricade outside a building being held by pro-Russia forces in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Eleanor Beadsley NPR

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 7:03 pm

  • Despite Agreement, Standoff In Ukraine Appears Steadfast
This post was updated at 6 p.m. ET.

Citing progress in diplomacy and this weekend's Easter holiday, Ukrainian officials say they've suspended an "anti-terrorist operation" that is aimed at pro-Russian forces who have occupied government buildings in eastern Ukraine.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Sat April 19, 2014

Captain Apologizes As Death Toll Rises In S. Korea Ferry Accident

A South Korean navy frogman dives into a water to search passengers believed to have been trapped in the sunken ferry Sewol in the water off the southern coast near Jindo, south of Seoul, South Korea, Saturday.
Lee Jin-man AP

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 9:02 pm

This post was updated at 7:25 p.m.

Divers recovered more bodies early Sunday in South Korea, from the wreckage of a ferry that sank earlier this week. The number of confirmed dead has now risen to 46. Since the ship sank on Wednesday, difficult conditions have complicated recovery efforts; heavy cranes have arrived that can shift the ferry, but officials say they'll wait to use them until they're sure none of the hundreds still missing managed to survive.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

TurboTax Maker Linked To Fight Against 'Return-Free' Tax System

Proposals that would simplify the filing process for many Americans are under fire from tax preparation company TurboTax. Here, a 2013 IRS Estimated Tax form.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 1:33 pm

Proposals to let U.S. taxpayers get a statement from the government that's already filled in with their financial information have been under attack by Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, according to ProPublica. The nonprofit newsroom says several people took a stand against the proposal in a grass-roots campaign that Intuit orchestrated.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Boston Stronger: City Marks One Year Since Marathon Bombings [Updated]

A Boston Police honor guard is posted outside the Forum restaurant Tuesday, the site of the second of two bombs that exploded near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon.
Charles Krupa AP

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:56 pm

On this April 15, Americans are thinking about the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred one year ago.

In and around Boston, people are also looking back on a year of healing. The day's events culminated in a moment of silence at 2:49 p.m. ET, the time of the first explosion. Vice President Joe Biden joined other officials in a tribute near the race's finish line.

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Ooops! US Airways Accidentally Includes Lewd Photo In Tweet

The Twitter account for US Airways created an embarrassing incident for the airline Monday, after an inappropriate image was included in a tweet to a customer.
Twitter

Airlines commonly use Twitter to address the concerns of customers, answering questions about flights and policies and helping passengers deal with delays. But US Airways ran into trouble online Monday, when its response to an unhappy customer included a link to a graphic photo of a woman with a model airplane.

The company has apologized and deleted the tweet from its account.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Pulitzer Prizes Are Out: 'Washington Post,' 'The Guardian' Win For NSA Stories

Journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald helped The Guardian win a Pulitzer Prize for public service along with The Washington Post Monday, for their stories based on NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 12:07 pm

Months after lifting a veil of secrecy from the National Security Agency's surveillance operations, The Washington Post and The Guardian won a Pulitzer Prize for public service Monday. The two papers broke the story in tandem, relying on NSA documents provided by Edward Snowden.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Banksy Is Believed To Be Behind Eavesdropping Mural Near British Spy HQ

Suspected Banksy artwork appears on the side of a house, depicting government agents spying on a phone box near GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) in Gloucestershire, England, Sunday.
Jules Annan Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:34 pm

A telephone box near Britain's Government Communications Headquarters is now bracketed with a trio of snoops, after a mural was added to a nearby wall this weekend. The art is believed to be the work of Banksy, who often uses public spaces as his canvas.

The mural was painted around the telephone box to create the image of three trenchcoat-clad men wearing sunglasses, holding microphones and other surveillance gear. A dark streak of paint rises above them, linking their scene with a satellite dish that's anchored on the side of the house.

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The Two-Way
12:40 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Japan May Send Maglev Train Expertise To U.S., Without A Fee

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to reporters after inspecting a maglev train system at the Yamanashi Experiment Center in Tsuru Saturday. Japan is reportedly willing to send the technology to the U.S. without a fee.
Kazuhiro Nogi AP

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:33 pm

The technology behind Japan's magnetically levitated train system, which whooshes passengers to their destinations at speeds topping 300 mph, could come to the U.S. without a traditional license fee, according to Japanese media outlets.

Japan is also willing to include billions in loans to help underwrite what would be a very expensive project, a government source tells The Japan Times.

Here's more from the newspaper:

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Mon April 14, 2014

For Second Night, Valparaiso Fire Spreads Misery In Chile

People flee after a rejuvenated fire threatened their neighborhood in Valparaiso, Chile, Sunday. More than 10,000 people have been evacuated because of the fire.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 2:41 pm

At least 12 people are dead and more than 2,000 homes have been destroyed by a large fire that wreaked havoc over the weekend in Valparaiso, Chile. Some 10,000 people have been forced to evacuate parts of the port city.

Government spokesman Álvaro Elizalde says those figures are likely to go up as the fire continues to burn.

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The Two-Way
5:03 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Huge Fire Kills At Least 11 And Destroys Hundreds Of Homes In Chile

Smoke fills the sky behind a hill in Valparaiso, Chile, Saturday. The large fire burned through the night and is blamed for at least 11 deaths.
Reuters /Landov

In Chile, a large fire that burned forest land and consumed houses has reportedly killed at least 11 people and destroyed 500 homes. Thousands of residents have been forced to evacuate areas near the port city of Valparaiso.

The BBC says the death toll had been 16, but it was dropped to 11 after authorities realized a family had been counted twice.

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

'Bully' Serves His Punishment: Holding Sign In Public

Edmond Aviv, 62, sits with a sign at a street corner in the Cleveland suburb of South Euclid Sunday. Aviv, who called his neighbor "monkey momma" as she held her adopted, disabled African-American children, was ordered by a judge to display the sign.
Aaron Josefczyk Reuters /Landov

The sign tells the story.

"I am a bully," it reads. "I pick on children that are disabled, and I am intolerant of those that are different from myself. My actions do not reflect an appreciation for the diverse South Euclid community that I live in."

That sign was displayed next to a busy roadside in a Cleveland suburb Sunday by Edmond Aviv, after a court found that he had abused his neighbors with racial slurs and vandalism that sometimes included dog feces.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

A Girl Ages From 0 To 14 Years Old, In 4 Minutes

A Dutch filmmaker has updated his time-lapse video project, showing his daughter growing from a a chubby-cheeked baby into a braces-wearing teenager.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Early Afghan Election Results Set Candidates Posturing

Initial results released by Afghan officials show former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah with a narrow lead over former finance minister Ashraf Ghani, in a tight presidential election.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 1:49 pm

Initial results from Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election show two candidates — Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani — far ahead of their rivals. Election officials released the figures Sunday, based on less than 7 percent of the total vote.

Though the sample released Sunday represented a small fraction of the estimated 7 million votes cast, that hasn't stopped the leading candidates from posturing about the final outcome, as NPR's Sean Carberry reports from Kabul:

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Marijuana Vending Machine Unveiled In Colorado

A customer eyes marijuana samples at a Denver dispensary. The makers of a newly unveiled vending machine are hoping to change how pot is sold in stores.
Theo Stroomer Getty Images

An automated pot-selling machine was unveiled at an event held at an Avon, Colo., restaurant Saturday, promising a potential new era of selling marijuana and pot-infused snacks from vending machines directly to customers.

Its creators say the machine, called the ZaZZZ, uses biometrics to verify a customer's age. The machine is climate-controlled to keep its product fresh.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Pope Francis Poses For Selfies With Crowd At St. Peter's

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:03 pm

After speaking to a crowd that was estimated at 100,000 people Sunday, Pope Francis moved through the audience in his popemobile — and then delighted some of those in attendance by getting out of the vehicle and posing for photos with them.

Francis posed for photos several times during his circuit through St. Peter's Square, where throngs of the faithful had gathered to hear him speak on Palm Sunday.

"After the ceremony, the pope hopped onto his popemobile and moved through the crowd, often getting off to pose for selfies with young people," NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports.

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The Two-Way
8:05 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Ukraine Says An Officer Died In Battle With Pro-Russian Forces

A Pro-Russian force guards a barricade outside a regional police building seized by armed men in Slovyansk Sunday. Ukraine, which launched an "anti-terrorist operation" in the eastern town, says one of its officers has been killed in a clash near the town.
Genya Savilov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:13 pm

  • Rep. Mike Rogers Discusses U.S.-Russia Relations On 'Weekend Edition'

A Ukrainian Security Service officer has been killed and five others wounded in the eastern city of Slovyansk, officials from Ukraine's interim government said Sunday. The casualty comes after Ukraine pledged a "very tough" response to those occupying government buildings.

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The Two-Way
5:10 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

U.S. Agency Backs Down In Standoff With Cattle Rancher

Rancher Cliven Bundy (center) walks with his grandson Braxton Louge along with armed security guards near his ranch house Friday. Bundy's ranch, west of Mesquite, Nev., has become a rallying point for protesters who back his fight against the Bureau of Land Management over grazing fees.
George Frey Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:19 pm

Cliven Bundy, a Nevada rancher who refuses to pay grazing fees for the use of federally protected land, seems to have won at least a reprieve in his fight against the Bureau of Land Management. The agency has reportedly rounded up hundreds of Bundy's cows and impounded them.

The BLM announced Saturday that it will stop its operation targeting Bundy's cattle, citing safety concerns. But officials maintain that the rancher still owes more than $1 million in unpaid fees that date back more than 20 years.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

In Australia, A Minute Of Silence Is Being Sold To Help Vets

Remembrance poppies honoring veterans cover a shrine in Wellington, New Zealand, on a recent April 25, when Australia and New Zealand mark ANZAC Day. A new campaign urges people to buy a minute of silence to support veterans.
Hagen Hopkins Getty Images

They're selling silence in Australia. But before you start thinking that means things are too noisy Down Under, know this: The Minute of Silence was recorded as current and former members of Australia's military stood by, in honor of their fallen comrades. The silence is being sold for a little over $2 to raise money to help veterans.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Sat April 12, 2014

Google Maps Displays Crimean Border Differently In Russia, U.S.

A Google Maps image from its Russian service depicts Crimea (bottom center) with a solid line, reflecting an international border between it and Ukraine. Versions of the map on other Google sites show it with a dotted line.
Google Maps

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:49 pm

The U.S. sees Crimea as "occupied territory," as the government said in a recent statement. But in Russia, Google Maps now shows the peninsula as part of Russian territory. America and its allies have refused to accept the region's separatist move to join Russia.

A look at the maps available on two Google Maps Web addresses — one ending in .com and another in .ru — shows the disparity. In Russia, Web visitors see a solid line dividing Crimea from neighboring Ukraine. In the U.S., a dotted line separates the two, implying a disputed status within the country.

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The Two-Way
11:25 am
Sat April 12, 2014

Bus Crash Tragedy: Investigators Work As Communities Mourn

The remains of a FedEx truck (right) and a bus involved in a crash Thursday are taken from the scene of the accident in Orland, Calif., by flatbed trucks on Friday. The students had been on their way to visit Humboldt State University in Northern California.
Elijah Nouvelage Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 12, 2014 12:32 pm

Investigators don't know what caused a deadly highway crash that killed 10 people Thursday after a FedEx truck hit a bus that was taking teenagers to tour a college campus in Northern California. It could be months before they have answers, officials say.

The crash triggered explosions and a fire that reportedly killed five students and five adults (the two vehicles' drivers, in addition to three people associated with the college program). Some survivors have said they're alive because they managed to get out of windows and get clear of the blast.

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