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
3:20 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Obama Warns Russia Against Using Force In Ukraine

President Obama spoke about the Ukraine crisis Friday afternoon, saying, "The United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine."
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 8:46 pm

Saying that the United States is "deeply concerned" by reports that Russia is taking military action in Ukraine, President Obama urged Russia not to intervene in the destabilized country, where tensions have reached new highs this week.

Obama said that he had spoken to Russia's President Putin in recent days, to foster cooperation in coping with the situation.

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Stunning And Amazing: Northern Lights Wow U.K.

People view the Northern Lights over Bamburgh Castle Beach Thursday in Northumberland, England. A powerful solar flare caused the aurora borealis to be visible farther south than usual.
Josh Maidwell Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 4:15 pm

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The Two-Way
6:40 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

House Approves Anti-Regulatory Bills, With Eye On Elections

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 7:37 am

The House of Representatives has approved several bills that would limit and change the way the federal government regulates businesses. The Republican-backed measures were all passed by largely party-line votes; none are seen as likely to be enacted into law.

The legislation underscores "an increasingly symbolic thrust of legislation as Congress heads toward midterm elections," NPR's David Welna reports for our Newscast unit.

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The Two-Way
4:12 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Yellen Acknowledges Weaker Economic Data; Markets Rally

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen gestures as she testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing while delivering the Federal Reserves semiannual Monetary Policy Report on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Citing "softness" in the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate panel today that the Fed will try to determine if the results are a new trend or are related to this winter's intense cold and storms. Analysts are seeing her comments as signaling a potential shift in the "tapering" of the Fed's stimulus program.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Boom: Amazing Soccer Goal Comes On Game's First Play

Harrison High School junior Andrew Deltac blasts a kick from 67 yards out to score in the opening seconds of a recent soccer game.
YouTube

If there's a quicker goal in the history of soccer, we don't know about it. On the opening kick, a Georgia high school player received the ball in his own end – and the ball didn't touch the ground again until it crashed into the back of the net, 67 yards away.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

How Ukraine's Presidential Documents Got Online So Fast

Volunteers scan financial documents in a building at the residence of Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych for further investigations in Kiev Wednesday. Some documents were fished out of the Dniepr river where they were dumped as the former President fled the city.
Etienne De Malglaive Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 4:05 am

When Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev, he left a trove of documents at his estate; many were thrown into a large reservoir. Journalists called divers and spent the weekend going over soggy papers in a house they had long been forbidden from entering. With the help of volunteers, more than 20,000 pages are now online.

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The Two-Way
1:24 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Arizona's Rep. Pastor, A Democrat, Won't Seek Re-Election

After more than 20 years in Congress, Rep. Ed Pastor, D-Ariz., says he won't be running for reelection. He's seen here with Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., in 2010.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:16 pm

He has held his seat in the House of Representatives since 1991 But today Rep. Ed Pastor announced that he won't seek another term. Pastor, 70, announced his decision on Twitter, saying that it was time for him "to seek out a new endeavor."

"After 23 years in Congress serving the people of AZ, I have decided not to seek re-election this year. It has been an honor," he tweeted. "Thank you."

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The Two-Way
7:44 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Mapping Differences In America's Musical Tastes, State By State

A map of the U.S. lists the musical acts that set states apart from each other. It's not a matter of an artist's popularity, says Paul Lamere, who made the map, but of a state's distinct preferences.
Paul Lamere, Director of Developer Platform at The Echo Nest

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:24 am

Are you streaming music right now? If you're in America's Pacific region, there's a much better chance you're nodding along with Cat Power rather than grooving to Fantasia, which you'd be more likely to be doing if you were across the country in the South Atlantic. Those observations come from a map titled "Regionalisms in U.S. Listening Preferences."

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The Two-Way
6:02 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Arizona Gov. Brewer Vetoes Controversial Bill

Gov. Jan Brewer, R-Ariz., on Monday at the White House when she and other state executives met with President Obama.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 6:10 pm

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says she has vetoed controversial legislation that would have allowed business owners in her state to refuse to serve gays and others if those customers somehow offended the proprietors' religious beliefs.

Brewer, a Republican, announced her decision at a news conference held Wednesday afternoon, following a flurry of meetings between the governor and state legislators.

Update at 7:52 p.m. ET Brewer's Comments

"I call them like I see them," Brewer said of the proposal, "despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd."

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Robot Swarm: A Flock Of Drones That Fly Autonomously

An image from a video by the COLLMOT Robotic Research Project shows a group of drones flying autonomously across a field.
COLLMOT Robotic Research Project

Can drones, the small unmanned aircraft that are at the forefront of fields from warfare to commercial delivery systems, fly without human intervention? A team of Hungarian researchers answers yes, having created 10 drones that self-organize as they move through the air.

The team based its creation on birds such as pigeons, which fly in tight bunches while making adjustments and decisions. They fitted quadcopters — drones with four rotors — with GPS, processors and radios that allow them to navigate in formation or while following a leader.

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The Two-Way
1:19 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Federal Judge Voids Texas Gay Marriage Ban

Couples Cleopatra De Leon and Nicole Dimetman and Victor Holmes and Mark Phariss speak with reporters outside the U.S. Federal Courthouse in San Antonio earlier this month. The judge in their case ruled Texas' ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 5:01 am

Saying that a Texas law barring same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and demeans the dignity of homosexuals, a federal judge struck down the law Wednesday. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia doesn't mean gay marriages can be held in Texas, however; he placed a stay on the decision, anticipating an appeal by the state.

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The Two-Way
1:03 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

'Planet Bonanza' Indeed: NASA Unveils 715 New Worlds

This artist rendering provided by NASA, shows Kepler-11, a sunlike star around which six planets orbit.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:47 pm

The job of NASA's Kepler mission is to peek at the far reaches of space in the hopes of finding potentially habitable planets. The space agency announced a stunning success, saying that Kepler had identified 715 new planets that orbit 305 stars. The discovery boosts the number of verified planets by around 70 percent.

"Four of the planets are about twice the size of Earth and orbit in their star's so-called habitable zone," NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports for our Newscast unit, "where temperatures might be suitable for liquid water."

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Ukraine Zeroes In On Leader For Interim Government

With Ukraine in a political limbo following the flight of its president Saturday, the name of Arseniy Yatsenyuk is being put forth as the country's next leader until new elections are held in May. Yatsenyuk is a member of the Batkyvshchina party, whose leaders include former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

On Wednesday, a web page dedicated to Yatsenyuk announced, "Began collecting signatures under the agreement on forming a coalition. The government will be voted on Thursday," according to a web-based translation service.

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The Two-Way
5:59 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Ukraine Will Turn Yanukovych Case Over To The Hague

An anti-Yanukovych protester holds a Ukrainian flag in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the country's current unrest, Tuesday. The Ukrainian Parliament has voted to turn prosecution of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych over to The Hague.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 7:00 pm

  • Paul Sonne of 'The Wall Street Journal '
  • NPR's Peter Kenyon on 'All Things Considered'

The whereabouts of Ukraine's ousted President Viktor Yanukovych remain unkown, but the country's opposition-led Parliament says any war crimes prosecution of the former leader would come in The Hague's International Criminal Court.

The opposition, which took control after Yanukovych fled the capital, has not yet formed a government. But its leaders have said they want to ensure the former president and other officials are held accountable for the deaths of protesters during months of demonstrations.

NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit from Kiev:

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

California's Drought: A Shocking Photo And Other Updates

Images of Folsom Lake, a reservoir in Northern California, show the severity of the state's drought. The photo at left, taken on July 20, 2011, show the lake at 97 percent of total capacity and 130 percent of its historical average for that date. The photo at right shows the lake on Jan. 16, 2014, when it was at 17 percent of capacity and 35 percent of its historical average.
California Department of Water Resources

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 9:58 am

Farmers in California, where Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency last month, are facing hard choices as a drought threatens to ruin their crops. They must weigh the costs of paying for irrigation against the chance that their fields will never get enough water this season.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

Winter Blahs Got You Down? 'Crowboarding' Video Can Help

A video of a crow using a jar lid as a sled has been a recent hit on YouTube. But as winter storms continue, many of us are running out of ways to enjoy the snow.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 12:46 pm

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The Two-Way
7:16 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Meteorite Impact On Moon Sets Record As Brightest Ever Seen

The moon is seen over Dresden, Germany, last week. Researchers say they filmed video of a meteorite impact that sets a new record as the brightest ever recorded.
Arno Burgi DPA /LANDOV

A meteorite that smashed into the moon last September caused a bright flash that persisted for 8 seconds, setting a new record for lunar impacts. The high-speed collision was recorded on video and would have been clearly visible to anyone on Earth who happened to look at the moon at the right time, scientists say.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

NATO Urges 'Everybody' To Respect Ukraine's Sovereignty

People light candles to honor victims of recent clashes between protesters and police on Independence Square in Kiev Monday. NATO and Russian officials shared their concerns about Ukraine's stability.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images
  • Peter Kenyon On 'All Things Considered'

Speaking by telephone Monday, top military officials from NATO and the Russian government discussed the situation in Ukraine, with both sides expressing their concerns. NATO says it respects Ukraine's sovereignty – and it hopes it's not alone.

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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Mango Alert: Australians Puzzle Over Huge Stolen Fruit

The Big Mango in Bowen, Australia, seen here in 2011, disappeared overnight, surprising people who live near the 33-foot-tall sculpture.
Jack Zalium/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:51 am

Update at 7:45 a.m. ET, Feb. 25: Missing Mango Mystery Solved, Here Are The Juicy Details

Our original post fleshes out the story:

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The Two-Way
1:14 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Major League Baseball Changes Home-Plate Rules

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:44 pm

Runners trying to reach home plate — and the catchers who often try to block them — will have to follow new rules that are meant to cut the risk of injuries from collisions, after Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed on changing the rules Monday.

The change would take effect in the upcoming 2014 season. In announcing the new rule today, MLB called it "experimental." Here's the summary it provided:

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The Edge
8:17 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Getting Technical: Questions And Answers About The Winter Olympics

American Bode Miller inspired a question about terminal velocity, resistance, and friction with his skiing in Sochi. It's one of many technical questions that came up during the Winter Olympics.
Olivier Morin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 8:41 pm

Events in the Winter Olympics can be highly technical, with arcane rules and specialized equipment that can defy easy explanation. On the question-and-answer site Quora, several interesting topics have come up in recent days, from why athletes use tape on their sleds to how a human can surpass 80 mph on skis.

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The Edge
4:38 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Alcoholics Learn To Make Their Own Beer In Canadian Program

Tyler BigChild, a board member of Vancouver's Drug Users Resource Center, is also part of its Brew Co-Op. The group teaches alcoholics how to make beer and wine, in the hopes that they'll stop risky behavior such as drinking rubbing alcohol.
Portland Hotel Society

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:59 pm

Call it a new twist on the old "teach a man to fish" adage. A group in Vancouver, British Columbia, is teaching inveterate alcoholics to brew their own beer and make their own wine, in an attempt to keep them from drinking unsafe liquids to get an alcoholic high.

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The Edge
3:06 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Same Banned Substance Fells German Biathlete, Italian Bobsledder

Germany's Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle has left her country's Olympic contingent — and Sochi — after testing positive for a banned stimulant. She's seen here in the biathlon earlier this week; Sachenbacher-Stehle finished fourth.
Odd Andersen AFP/Getty Images

Germany's Sochi 2014 contingent is reeling from the news that Evi Sachenbacher-Stehle, a former Olympic medalist in cross-country skiing who took fourth place in the biathlon Monday, has tested positive for banned substances at the Sochi Winter Olympics. An Italian athlete also tested positive, officials said Friday.

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The Edge
1:35 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Finally: U.S. Speedskaters Break Drought, Win Silver In New Race Suits

From left to right, America's J.R. Celski, Jordan Malone, Christopher Creveling and Eduardo Alvarez celebrate taking silver in the men's short track 5,000-meter relay at the Iceberg Skating Palace in the Sochi Winter Olympics Friday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:27 pm

It took far longer than many people expected. But the American Speedskating team that came to Sochi with high expectations has finally won an Olympic medal. The men's short track relay team finished second to Russia Friday, two days before the Winter Games come to an end.

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The Edge
12:28 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

U.S. Loses To Canada 1-0; Will Play in Bronze Hockey Match

Canada's Jamie Benn (right) and Corey Perry celebrate a goal against America and goalie Jonathan Quick during the men's hockey semifinals in Sochi Friday.
Alexander Nemenov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:50 pm

Canada beat the U.S. men 1-0 in Olympic hockey Friday, winning a tense game that saw strong goalie play and stout defensive work. Despite numerous chances, the Americans weren't able to challenge Canadian goalie Carey Price.

The game was a rematch between two teams that played for gold at the Vancouver 2010 Games. That contest went to overtime before Canada's Sidney Crosby scored an artful golden goal that dashed the Americans' dreams of repeating as gold medalists — something they haven't done since the famed 1980 "Miracle on Ice" Olympics.

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The Two-Way
5:19 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

USDA Tells Schools: Don't Refuse Food To Students Who Owe

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 1:29 pm

U.S. school systems should not take cafeteria lunches away from students whose parents have not paid their accounts, says the Department of Agriculture.

The agency is responding to a January incident in which a Utah elementary school served students food but threw it away when their accounts were found to have a negative balance.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Who's Your Buddy? It's Canada, Americans Say

U.S. and Canadian fans attend the women's hockey gold medal game in Sochi Thursday. A recent Gallup poll finds that Americans see Canada in the most favorable light, compared to other countries.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

America's favorite foreign country is its neighbor to the north, according to a new Gallup World Affairs poll. The research firm says Americans' opinions of several countries have shifted. Russia has slipped, for instance. And so has North Korea – the country is now alone in the "least favorable" category.

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The Edge
1:49 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

USA Women Lose Gold To Canada In A Hockey Classic

The Canadian team celebrates Marie-Philip Poulin's winning overtime goal as American players try to recover from a game that seemed to be within their grasp in Sochi Thursday.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:25 am

With a 2-0 lead late in the game, it seemed like Team USA would finally overcome archrival Canada on hockey's largest stage Thursday, winning an Olympic gold medal that has eluded it for 16 years. But the gold medal went to Canada after a spirited comeback forced overtime.

The Canadians scored on a five-on-three power play, after a sequence of penalties on both teams, including a checking call on Team USA's Hilary Knight. Forward Marie-Philip Poulin scored on an assist from Laura Fortino. Under Olympic rules, the "golden goal" ended the game with a score of 3-2.

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The Two-Way
4:36 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Facebook Will Buy WhatsApp Message Service For $19 Billion

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:01 pm

Seeking new ways to be a player in mobile messaging, Facebook announced today that it will acquire the fast-growing WhatsApp firm for some $16 billion in cash and stock. The deal includes an additional $3 billion in Facebook stock for the employees of WhatsApp, who would see the shares vest over four years.

This is the second headline-grabbing acquisition by Facebook, following the $1 billion deal for Instagram that was announced in the spring of 2012. The new deal calls for Facebook to pay $4 billion in cash, along with around $12 billion in stock.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Washington's Corcoran Museum To Be Taken Over By National Gallery

The Corcoran Gallery of Art, seen here in 2005, plans a partnership with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University that would see both its large collection and its iconic building taken over.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 5:09 pm

The oldest private art museum in Washington is poised to be taken over by the National Gallery of Art, according to a plan to disperse much of the museum's holdings and turn its art college over to George Washington University. The plan was publicly unveiled Wednesday.

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