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.

Pages

All Tech Considered
2:20 am
Wed November 21, 2012

For Holiday Road Trips, Apps That Promise Diversions For Kids

Apps that can keep kids entertained during long road trips include (from left) Waze, Story Dice, Mobbles, Cobypic, and Postcard on the Run.
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:29 am

Thanksgiving is Thursday, and that means more than 43 million Americans will be on the road, driving to family gatherings. For many parents, the crowded roads can bring another challenge: Keeping a 9-year-old entertained along the way. And sometimes, DVDs are not enough. These days, kids love to tinker with smartphones and tablets, as well.

With that in mind, NPR's Renee Montagne spoke with an actual 9-year-old, Jane Frauenfelder, and her father, Mark. Together, they host the podcast Apps for Kids.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:05 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Armstrong Doping Scandal: Some Cyclists 'Made The Right Choice' Not To Cheat

Former cyclist Scott Mercier has gained notoriety for refusing to go on a doping program 15 years ago. Here, Mercier (in blue jersey) rides just ahead of cyclist Chris Horner in 1997.
Jed Jacobsohn Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:44 pm

Reactions to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's recently released report on cyclist Lance Armstrong's use of performance-enhancing drugs have ranged from denial to anger and disappointment. Some have said Armstrong merely did what it took to compete with pro racers, all of them chemically enhanced. But that's just not true, says Joe Lindsey, a contributor to Bicycling magazine.

Read more
The Salt
4:46 pm
Sun October 14, 2012

At The Great American Beer Festival, Big Tastes Come In Small Packages

Beer is sniffed and tasted in one-once portions, as the festival's breweries make their way through the 36,000 gallons of beer they brought to Denver.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:09 am

The soaring drone of a full bagpipe and drum corps greeted thousands of people who marched into a Denver arena for the Great American Beer Festival this past weekend. The martial music seemed a fitting way to prepare the crowd to test their palates, and their fortitude, against 2,700 different beers made by some of the best breweries in the United States.

Read more
Monkey See
4:33 am
Fri October 5, 2012

Picking The Best Bond: Connery And Craig Rise To The Top

The Gold Standard: In NPR's survey, most readers chose Sean Connery (above, in Goldfinger), as the best James Bond. Daniel Craig placed second in our survey.
The Kobal Collection

It's official: Sean Connery IS James Bond, according to NPR readers who weighed the question this week. The final results show that Connery set the gold standard as 007, the spy known for his playfulness, his ruthlessness — and his ability to look good in a suit. Today marks the Bond film franchise's 50th anniversary.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Tomato Wars Ahead? U.S. Dubious On Extending Mexico Trade Deal

A worker separates tomatoes at a market in Mexico City. The Commerce Department says it might act to end a 16-year-old trade deal governing fresh Mexican tomatoes sold in the U.S.
Gregory Bull AP

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 9:09 pm

Talk of a Tomato War is simmering in agricultural circles, after the U.S. Commerce Department issued a report Thursday that recommends ending an agreement on how fresh tomatoes grown in Mexico are sold in the United States. The issue could create an expanding trade conflict; Mexican officials have said they would retaliate to defend the tomato growers.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:39 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Fox News' Smith Apologizes After Man Commits Suicide On Air

Shepard Smith apologized to viewers Friday afternoon, after his show aired live footage of a man who fled police and then shot himself.
Fox News

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 10:30 am

After inadvertently airing live coverage of a car chase that ended with a man's suicide, Shepard Smith of Fox News has issued an apology to viewers of his show. The incident occurred as the cable network carried a live feed of a man fleeing police on the interstate west of Phoenix.

In the footage, the man abandoned his vehicle and began running across a field, before pulling out a gun and shooting himself in the head. Despite being filmed from a helicopter hovering above the scene, the footage was graphic enough to prompt immediate yelling in the Fox News studio.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Cheese-Smuggling Ring Is Brought Down In Canda

Cheese that was smuggled into Canada may have brought profits of more than $165,000, according to police. Pizzerias were reportedly a main market for the criminals, who were arrested this week.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 6:56 pm

A "large scale Canada-U.S. cheese smuggling operation" has been brought down, after an international investigation tracked criminals who were skirting import duties and Canada's higher cheese prices.

"The investigation revealed over $200,000 worth of cheese and other products were purchased and distributed for an estimated profit of over $165,000," Niagara police said.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:11 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Streams Of Water Once Flowed On Mars; NASA Says Photos Prove It

NASA says it has found proof that water shaped the rocks on the left, in a photograph taken by the Mars rover Curiosity (left). For comparison, the agency released an image of rocks from the Earth (right).
NASA

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:20 pm

NASA's Curiosity rover has found definitive proof that water once ran across the surface of Mars, the agency announced today. NASA scientists say new photos from the rover show rocks that were smoothed and rounded by water. The rocks are in a large canyon and nearby channels that were cut by flowing water, making up an alluvial fan.

"You had water transporting these gravels to the downslope of the fan," NASA researchers say. The gravel then formed into a conglomerate rock, which was in turn likely covered before being exposed again.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:59 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

What If Google Were Run By Replacement Engineers?

A spoof site launched by Erik Johnson pretends to offer Google's search engine — if it were run by replacements.
Replacement Google

Frustration over the NFL's not-ready-for-primetime replacement referees has inspired web designer Erik Johnson to present Google as if its search engine had replacement engineers at the controls. The result is a web page that looks a lot like the standard Google Search page — with a note that it is sponsored by the NFL.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:10 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Army Brigadier General Faces Sexual Misconduct Charges

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 6:42 am

Months after his sudden removal from his post in Afghanistan, Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair has been charged with multiple violations of the military's Uniform Code, ranging from wrongful sexual conduct to several rules violations.

For our Newscast desk, NPR's Tom Bowman reports that "Sinclair faces multiple counts of sexual misconduct and maltreatment of subordinates, as well as charges he violated orders by possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

U.S. Supreme Court Will Not Intercede In Texas Execution

Originally published on Wed September 26, 2012 5:47 am

The U.S. Supreme Court will not halt the execution of Texas death row inmate Cleve Foster, as it did three times in 2011. Foster, 48, has maintained he is innocent in the 2002 shooting death of Nyaneur Pal, 30.

"I didn't do it," Foster told the AP recently from death row. "And if it means I'm going to the gurney and the taking of my life, so be it."

Read more
The Two-Way
4:19 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Drinking (Coffee) On The Job: Restaurant Workers, Women Lead The Way

For many who work in the food service industry, coffee can make or break their day, according to a new survey. Many scientists and sales reps also said their day suffers if they don't have a cup.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Cooks and servers, scientists and sales reps — those are some of the workers who say they do better after drinking coffee, according to a new study. Nurses, journalists, teachers, and business executives also said they're more effective at work if they have coffee, in a survey commissioned by Dunkin Donuts and CareerBuilder.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:34 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Kickstarter Says It 'Is Not A Store' As It Revises Policy On Projects' Risks

A screengrab shows three highly funded Design projects currently on Kickstarter's site. The company's founder say they will require more information about the challenges potential entrepreneurs could face.
NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:06 pm

Even as it has received praise for bringing innovative ideas to life, Kickstarter has been criticized for allowing creators to be a little fuzzy about their plans — and for providing little recourse to investors who become unsatisfied with the project they've supported. The site has now announced changes that it hopes will ease those troubles.

The biggest change is a new section called "Risks and Challenges," which requires potential entrepreneurs to list the obstacles they face, and how they plan to deal with them.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:25 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Touchdown: Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands In Los Angeles

The Space Shuttle Endeavour passes the Hollywood Sign and the Griffith Observatory as seen from Dodger Stadium Friday.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:44 am

The Space Shuttle Endeavour has landed safely in Los Angeles, after giving admirers around the city a chance to take historic photos of its last flight.

"Amazing, amazing, amazing," Derek Johns, 41, told The Los Angeles Times. Johns took photos from a pier.

"I got chills," El Segundo councilman Dave Atkinson told the paper. "This is America at its finest."

Read more
The Two-Way
3:17 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Wide Gap Remains Between NFL And Refs; League Insists On Respect For Subs

Denver Broncos Coach John Fox yells at field judge Jimmy Buchanan during the Broncos' game against Atlanta Monday. Referring to the game, the NFL insisted that players and coaches give replacement referees, and the game, more respect.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 5:44 am

Despite complaints from NFL coaches and players, the league and its locked-out officials are no closer to reaching a deal than they were last week, according to reports. The two sides are separated by "significant and serious economic gaps," an anonymous source tells the AP.

A representative of the NFL Referees Association confirmed that talks had taken place, but he would not go into detail, the AP reports.

Read more
All Tech Considered
2:15 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Electronic Pull-Tab Gambling Hits The iPad In Minnesota Bars

Booths that sell paper pull-tab games like this one have new competition in Minnesota: electronic pull-tab games played on iPads. The games are meant to help pay for a new football stadium in Minneapolis.
Jim Mone AP

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 3:30 pm

Minnesota gamblers no longer have to rip paper pull-tabs to see if they've won cash: As of this week, they can use iPads to play, and play again, at the click of a button. The venture was sparked by the need to help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium, which will cost an estimated $975 million.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:17 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Neil Gaiman Posts Note From Actress With A Role In 'Innocence Of Muslims'

Details are still emerging about the people who made Innocence of Muslims, a purportedly feature-length film whose online trailer has ignited anti-U.S. protests and violence in Egypt, Libya and other nations. Some of the actors involved have publicly rejected the film — and that list now includes actress Anna Gurji, who asked writer Neil Gaiman for help in making her story public.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Occupy Wall Street Marks One-Year Anniversary; More Than 100 Arrested

A man looks down at a sign during the Occupy Wall Street protest on the one year anniversary of the movement in New York.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

The one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement brought rallies and arrests Monday, as protesters marched in New York and other cities. More than 100 arrests were reported in New York, where activists marched near the city's stock exchange.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Canada Stops Its Defense Of Asbestos, As Quebec's Mines Close For Good

A former Asbestos plant is seen February in Thetford Mines, Quebec. Canada has ended its refusal to allow chrysotile asbestos to be added to the U.N.'s Rotterdam Convention on hazardous materials.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:45 am

Canada's leaders have ended their country's longstanding resistance to asbestos being called a dangerous material under United Nations guidelines, a decision that reflects a shift in the leadership of Quebec province, home of Canada's asbestos industry.

Quebec's incoming premier, Pauline Marois, promised late in her campaign that she would shut down the region's asbestos mines for good. She says that she will use money that would have gone to restart the mines to diversify the local economy.

As Dan Karpenchuk reports for NPR's Newscast unit:

Read more
The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Makers Of the DipJar Hope That Dipping To Tip Catches On

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:46 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
11:25 am
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:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:44 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:20 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 7:24 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
5:18 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

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.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

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

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:18 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."

Read more
The Two-Way
5:32 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:39 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 Thu September 6, 2012 11:29 pm

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.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:32 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!"

Read more
The Two-Way
3:17 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 5:44 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.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:40 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.

Read more

Pages