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
2:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Halt In 'Colbert Report' Production Reportedly Due To Family Emergency

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:46 pm

Provocateur comedian Stephen Colbert is known for many things. Silence has not been among them — until now. An abrupt suspension in his Colbert Report's production schedule sparked rumors online Thursday, after Comedy Central said it would air reruns for three days this week.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Amanda Knox Signs Book Deal Worth Millions

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 2:03 pm

Amanda Knox, the U.S. college exchange student who won an appeal to overturn her murder conviction in Italy last October, has signed a deal to write a memoir — for which she'll earn nearly $4 million, according to reports.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Man Has Heart Attack While Eating At The Heart Attack Grill

Signs for "Bypass Burgers" and "Flatliner Fries" are seen in the window of the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. A man who suffered a heart attack in the restaurant was wheeled out on a stretcher Saturday.
Julie Jacobson AP

Slogans for a Las Vegas restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill include "Taste worth dying for," and "Over 350 lbs? Eat for free!" But the burger joint's shtick of calling waitresses "nurses" — complete with skimpy uniforms — and serving "quadruple bypass" burgers collided with reality Saturday, when a patron suffered a heart attack while eating at the restaurant.

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The Two-Way
10:37 am
Thu February 16, 2012

Methane, Soot Are Targets Of New U.S. Climate Initiative

A new program led by the U.S. seeks to limit amounts of soot, hydrofluorocarbons and methane released into the atmosphere. In this file photo from 2009, a researcher ignites trapped methane from under a pond's ice cap in Alaska.
Todd Paris AP

The United States and five other nations are embarking on a new program to limit pollutants connected to global warming. But they're not targeting carbon dioxide with this effort — instead, they're looking at methane gas, and soot.

NPR's Richard Harris filed this report for our Newscast desk:

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is teaming up with Canada, Mexico, Sweden, Ghana and Bangladesh to get countries thinking about some potent contributors to climate change."

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Audits Are Under Way At Apple Supplier Foxconn's Plants

A group of protesters demonstrate outside Foxconn's annual meeting in Hong Kong last year. Working conditions at the company's plants have brought criticism on Apple.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images

Audits of working conditions are under way at Foxconn's manufacturing plants in China, a key link in Apple's supply chain of iPhones, iPads and other devices. The effort will include visits to at least three sites, "each with more than 100,000 workers," says Auret Van Heerden, president of the Fair Labor Association.

"So we've taken a representative sample of over 35,000 workers," Van Heerden tells All Things Considered co-host Robert Siegel, in an interview airing Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Drinking Takes Center Stage As London Prepares For Olympic Spotlight

Prime Minister David Cameron calls binge drinking "one of the scandals of our society." Here, a man drinks a pint of beer through a makeshift "Vuvuzela of Ale" in London, in a file photo from 2010.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Britain has a drinking problem. And it's not just a question of alcoholism, but how the country should grapple with what some call an ingrained tradition and others call a $4.24 billion nightmare. That's how much the National Health Service says it pays each year in alcohol-related incidents.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Wed February 15, 2012

Auto Dependability Hits 22-Year High In New Study

For the second year in a row, the Ford Fusion won J.D. Power's dependability prize in the mid-size sedan category. Pictured is the 2013 model of the car, unveiled in January.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 2:16 pm

Toyota and Ford won the most awards in the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 U.S. Vehicle Dependability Study, which came out today. Vehicles made by Toyota led the way with eight awards, while Ford models received three. In general, vehicle dependability was the best since the study first began in 1990, according to J.D. Power.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Wed February 15, 2012

President's 2013 Budget Includes Slight Boost For Arts, Cultural Agencies

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 3:25 pm

The 2013 budget proposed by President Obama includes many cuts made to conform with new spending limits. But several arts and cultural institutions saw their allotment rise by about 5 percent in the proposed plan. The proposed spending of $1.576 billion — in a budget of $3.8 trillion — includes some good news for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowments for the Arts.

For the Newscast desk, Elizabeth Blair filed this report:

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Pro Basketball's First Asian-American Player Looks At Lin, And Applauds

Wat Misaka dribbles the ball in a gym at the University of Utah, where he helped the Utes win the NIT in 1947. The victory drew the attention of the New York Knicks, who chose him in the draft.
The Misaka Family

Linsanity is buzzing through the sports world, as New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin has come off the bench to emerge as a star. The unlikely story of an NBA player of Taiwanese descent who attended Harvard — and who, at 6 feet 3 inches, outscored Kobe Bryant to beat the Lakers — has won him many admirers.

There aren't many players like Lin. But in Utah, there's a man who knows something about what he's experiencing. Like Lin, Wat (for Wataru) Misaka is an Asian-American who became an unlikely star and played basketball for the Knicks. But he did it in the 1940s.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Westminster Set To Name Top Dog; Out West, A Dog's Star Rises

Miu Miu, a Chihuahua, poses for photographers at a fashion show held before the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

The Westminster Kennel Club dog show is under way, and that means dogs are being pampered, brushed and cajoled to walk before the event's judges. First held in 1877, the Westminster show claims to be second only to the Kentucky Derby in terms of continuously held sporting events.

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The Two-Way
11:30 am
Tue February 14, 2012

In France, Drivers Face Gas Prices Of $8 A Gallon

Gas prices in France have topped more than $8 a gallon in some areas. In this photo from January, a woman rides her bike past a gas station in Paris.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 12:12 pm

Prices for gasoline are hitting record highs in France, where a gallon now costs more than $8 in some areas. That's the word from Eleanor Beardsley, who filed a report for our Newscast unit:

"Prices are up because of problems with two of France's main oil suppliers. Nigeria is racked by civil unrest, and European Union sanctions bar France from importing oil from Iran."

"A lower euro has also raised the price of gasoline because crude oil prices are denominated in dollars."

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Boeing Closes $22.4 Billion Deal With Lion Air

An artist rendering depicts a Boeing 737 MAX 9. Lion Air of Indonesia has agreed to become the first commercial customer for the plane.
Boeing

When your products sell for more than $80 million, selling one of them is a big deal. Selling hundreds of them in one deal means they're probably feeling pretty good over at Boeing right now. The aircraft company has finalized a deal to sell 230 jets to Lion Air of Indonesia, with a total list price of $22.4 billion — a record for Chicago-based Boeing.

The deal, which was first announced in November during President Obama's multi-country tour of Asia, includes 201 737 MAX jets and 29 of Boeing's extended range 737-900ERs.

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All Tech Considered
10:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Apps For Apnea? New Gadgets Promise To Improve Sleep

Jealous? If you have trouble sleeping, several new apps and devices promise to help you figure out why. In this photo from January, Huan Huan, a female giant panda, sleeps in a zoo in Beauval, France.
Franck Prevel Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 6:00 am

Technology is sometimes blamed for keeping us awake at night. The thinking is that devices like laptops, smartphones and tablets may have made entertainment TOO portable, putting games, videos and the Internet close at hand in the bedroom. But a batch of new apps and gadgets tries to push the pendulum the other way, by helping you improve the quality of your sleep.

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The Two-Way
10:36 am
Tue January 24, 2012

State Bill Outlaws Use Of Fetuses In Food Industry

A scientist holds a tray of stem cells in a lab, in this file photo from 2010.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 11:34 am

A bill introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature has some folks scratching their heads, as it prohibits "the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses."

Since the bill was introduced late last week by State Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican from Oklahoma City, corners of the Internet have been buzzing with the news, as people try to figure out two things: 1) is this real; and 2) is there any reason the bill might be needed?

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The Two-Way
2:23 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Late Tuskegee Airman Gets Arlington Honors As 'Red Tails' Film Opens

Family, friends and admirers salute the casket of Luke Weathers, Jr., one of the original Tuskegee airmen, at his burial ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

A member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen was buried in Arlington National Cemetery this morning, the same day that Red Tails, a film dramatizing the pilots' heroic feats, was released in U.S. theaters.

During World War II, Luke Weathers Jr. "shot down two German fighter planes while escorting a damaged bomber to its base," the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
12:30 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Palestinian Women Behind The Wheel, And Ahead Of The Pack

Noor Daoud holds a trophy after she won third place in the first day of Formula Israel's women's race, in Eilat, Israel. Daoud went on to take the women's title at the event.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Palestine might not seem like a breeding ground for race car drivers. After all, the area is dotted with checkpoints and roadblocks, hundreds of obstacles that can cramp a driver's ability to explore a car's limits.

But that hasn't stopped a group of Palestinian women from driving very fast, winning races and making a name for themselves along the way.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Search Of Stricken Italian Cruise Ship Resumes After Third Delay

A coast guard boat passes the Costa Concordia, as the cruise liner lies aground in front of the harbor of Giglio Island.
Vincenzo Pinto AFP/Getty Images

Search and rescue operations at the wreck of the Costa Concordia have resumed, after being halted for a third time, due to choppy waters and the partially submerged vessel's tendency to shift on the rocks near Italy's coast.

BBC correspondent Luisa Baldini says the search has resumed, after being called off early Friday.

Here's a roundup of recent developments in the story:

From Italy, Sylvia Poggioli report for NPR's Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Doctor Isolates Exercise Hormone; Tells People To Keep Exercising

What if your New Year's resolution to get more exercise could be fulfilled — by taking a pill? That's the far-flung idea suddenly brought much closer to reality by the discovery of a hormone called irisin, which is produced by the human body in response to exercise.

Irisin may hold some of exercise's key benefits that relate to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, researchers say.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed January 11, 2012

Nigeria Faces Double-Edged Crisis In Protests, Militant Group

Protesters gather to protest against the end of gasoline subsidies in Lagos. Wednesday marked the third day of mass strikes by labor and civil society.
Pius Utomi Ekpei AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 3:45 pm

Parts of Nigeria are under a 24-hour curfew, after demonstrations against a government policy to end fuel subsidies turned into a fiery rampage in the city of Minna. The BBC reports that "hundreds of rioters set fire to government and political party offices and also targeted the homes of local politicians."

The AP lays out the basics of how we got here:

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Google Tweaks Search To Boost Google+, And Rivals Get Angry

A screengrab shows Google's new search feature, in which results from a user's Google+ community are promoted at the top of the page.
NPR

Social media has become a huge part of how people experience the web. So it's not surprising that Google's move to integrate "personal results" into its web searches — drawing from a user's Google+ profile — wasn't praised by the folks who run rival social networks.

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Beef Erupts Over Crossword Guru's Hip-Hop Slang Clue

A New York Times crossword puzzle clue asking for a 5-letter word that means "Wack, in hip-hop" led to an email and an argument over the real meaning of "illin'."
NPR

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 9:26 am

Under editor Will Shortz, The New York Times crossword puzzle has won fans for being in touch with the modern world — relying less on arcane words and more on a working knowledge of America's cultural landscape.

But according to some, Shortz took a false step with this past Saturday's puzzle, when he included a clue steeped in hip-hop slang. The clue asked for a 5-letter word that means "Wack, in hip-hop."

The answer was "Illin'".

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Hostess, Maker Of Twinkies, Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

A Twinkie shows off its creamy filling in this file photo from 2005. A snack-cake sales slump is one reason Hostess Brands is seeking protection from its creditors.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

Twinkies maker Hostess Brands Inc., is again seeking protection from its creditors, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as the company tries to cope with high debt and rising costs of labor and raw materials.

Hostess, which also makes Ho Hos, Sno Balls, and Wonder Bread, is a privately held company based in Irving, Tex. It owes millions to suppliers and labor unions. The company has reportedly found some financing to keep it running during bankruptcy proceedings.

For our Newscast desk, Larry Abramson reports:

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Picture A Struggle: LSU And Alabama's Defenses Seen Deciding BCS Title

Not Giving An Inch: You can expect to see lots of close contact in Monday's BCS national title game. Here, Eric Reid of the LSU Tigers defends against Michael Williams of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Kevin C. Cox Getty Images

The consensus among college football's fans and analysts seems to be that tonight's BCS championship game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 1 LSU will be a defensive struggle, similar to the touchdown-free game the two teams played on Nov. 5, when LSU won in overtime, 9-6.

"These are the two top defenses in the country," NPR's Tom Goldman told David Greene on today's Morning Edition. "Alabama allows under 9 points a game; LSU is right behind, allowing only 10.5 points a game."

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Mile-High Health Concerns Leave Steelers Star On The Bench For Playoff Game

In the past two games, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark has 18 tackles, 14 of them unassisted. But Clark won't be playing when the Steelers face Denver at Mile High Stadium Sunday, due to his sickle cell trait condition.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 3:11 pm

When the Pittsburgh Steelers start the NFL playoffs Sunday with a road game in Denver, they'll do it without free safety Ryan Clark. That's because Clark, who has 100 tackles and the confidence of his coaches, also has sickle cell trait, which can cause severe complications at high altitudes.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Pro-Piracy Group Says It's Now A Recognized Religion In Sweden

A screengrab of a Kopimi symbol, used by the Missionary Church of Kopimism to signify a site's willingness to be copied.
Kopimi

The Missionary Church of Kopimism has one central belief: that it's okay to copy information, in any form.

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The Two-Way
11:53 am
Wed January 4, 2012

U.S. Carmakers, VW, Report Big Gains In Auto Sales For 2011

A Jeep Wrangler is seen at a dealership in Chicago. Powered by a newly designed fleet of vehicles, the brand saw a sharp rise in sales in 2011.
Scott Olson Getty Images

America's big three automakers all experienced double-digit sales growth in 2011, helping the U.S. market continue its rebound from a dismal 2009. With annual reports out today, Chrysler says its sales were up 26 percent, while General Motors and Ford Motor Co. reporting gains of 13 and 11 percent, respectively.

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The Two-Way
10:47 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Boeing Says It Will Close Wichita Plant That Employs 2,160 Workers

Boeing plans to close its Wichita plant, where in 2005 members of the Machinists Union voted to go on strike, seen in this file photo.
Larry W. Smith Getty Images

Boeing Co. says it will shut down its Wichita facility, which specializes in maintaining and modifying the company's planes for military or government use. The plant is slated to close by the end of 2013.

The closure could devastate a portion of the local economy, according to The Wichita Eagle:

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Bishop Resigns After He Acknowledges Fathering Two Children

San Gabriel Region Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala leads a mass in this file photo from 2005. Zavala resigned from the ministry in December, after revealing that he fathered two children.
David McNew Getty Images

A Catholic bishop in California has resigned his post after revealing in December that he has two children.

"The Vatican announced the bishop's resignation Jan. 4 in a one-line statement that cited church law on resignation for illness or other serious reasons," reports the Catholic News Service from Vatican City.

Pope Benedict reportedly accepted the resignation of Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop for the San Gabriel Pastoral Region, in December.

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The Two-Way
8:56 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Man Uses iPad, Not Passport, To Gain Entry To U.S.

A Canadian man has been making headlines because he used an image of his passport saved on his iPad — instead of the official document itself — to cross the U.S.-Canadian border two times.

Martin Reisch, 33, says he forgot his passport when he left for a car trip across the border in Quebec. But he had an iPad with him, and it contained a scan of his passport. So Reisch gave the device to the U.S. border officer, along with his drivers' license, and the explanation that he was merely driving to Vermont, to drop off some Christmas presents.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Chinese Year Of The Dragon Postage Stamp Deemed 'Too Ferocious'

What A Difference A Year Makes: China's Year of the Dragon stamp, left, is decidedly more fearsome than last year's model, of a rabbit.
Webo/China Post

To welcome the Year of the Dragon, China's postal service plans to release commemorative postage stamps featuring the fabled beast. But many customers are finding the image to be a little over the top.

Here are some reactions cited by China's Xinhua news agency:

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