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
11:34 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Cuteness Alert: Christmas Cats TV Is Streaming Live

A still image taken from Christmas Cat TV, which features an eight-hour streaming video of a "cat lady" and an elf hanging out with cats — some of them in holiday sweaters.
Christmas Cat TV

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:27 am

If you love cats and adore Christmas, do we ever have the website for you. It takes the concept of "reality TV" in new directions — eight solid hours a day of streaming video of cats in a holiday setting.

The scene you'll find at Christmas Cats TV is a unique one. A woman sits in a den that includes a Christmas tree, a hearth and some presents — and a whole lot of cats, some of which have been cajoled into wearing Christmas sweaters.

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The Two-Way
11:11 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Biden Visits Chinese Leader As Flight Zone Dispute Simmers

Vice President Joe Biden speaks after a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday. Biden met with China's president to discuss issues that include China's recent claim of an air defense zone.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 11:05 am

Vice President Joe Biden met with China's president in Beijing Wednesday, in a trip to Asia that has often touched on growing tensions over China's new air defense identification zone.

Biden's two-day visit to China was planned before the country's defense officials surprised neighboring Japan by declaring a defense zone in an area contested by the two countries. The topic of the air zone likely helped extend a closed-door session that had been scheduled for 45 minutes to its actual length of two hours.

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The Two-Way
10:08 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Norman Rockwell's 'Saying Grace' Sells For $46 Million At Auction

Norman Rockwell's 1951 painting Saying Grace sold for $46 million Wednesday — a record for the artist.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 11:06 am

Three Norman Rockwell paintings sold for a combined total of nearly $58 million at a Sotheby's auction Wednesday. The three paintings, which had long been displayed in a Massachusetts museum named for the artist, were among 10 Rockwell works sold at auction today.

By far, the star of the bunch was the 1951 masterpiece Saying Grace, which sold for $46 million — a record for Rockwell's art. The price includes a buyer's premium. The AP says the artist's previous record of $15 million had been set by Breaking Home Ties at a 2006 Sotheby's auction.

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The Two-Way
9:16 am
Tue December 3, 2013

American Held In North Korea Reportedly Oversaw Guerrilla Group In War

Park Boo Seo (right), a former member of the Korean Kuwol partisan unit, speaks about Merrill Newman, an American tourist detained in North Korea. Newman supervised the group during the Korean War.
Ahn Young-joon AP

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 11:03 am

Merrill Newman, the 85-year-old American war veteran and tourist who was arrested in North Korea in October, once supervised a guerrilla group of "perhaps the most hated and feared fighters" of the Korean War, some of his former comrades say. That's according to The Associated Press, which offers details about Newman's service as a possible explanation for his detention.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Poultry Pardon: President Rewards America's Top Turkey

President Barack Obama, with daughters Sasha, second from left, and Malia, right, bestows a presidential pardon on Popcorn, the turkey, in a White House Thanksgiving tradition.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 12:56 pm

A turkey caught a break in Washington today. President Obama bestowed the traditional presidential pardon to a turkey named Popcorn, who now becomes the 2013 National Thanksgiving Turkey. It's the 66th anniversary of the tradition that keeps a lucky turkey or two off the dinner table.

In bestowing the official pardon, the president also observed the tradition of cracking a few jokes at the short outdoor ceremony at the White House, where he was joined by his daughters, Natasha and Malia.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

After Internal Review On Benghazi Report, CBS Puts Logan On Leave

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 6:09 am

CBS has asked 60 Minutes correspondent Lara Logan to take a leave of absence, along with her producer, after her recent story on the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was found to have multiple flaws. An internal report also found broader failings in how the news division handled the story. A summary of the report's findings was obtained by NPR on Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
8:50 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

No Motive In Newtown Report, But Many Details About Lanza

An image from a Connecticut State Police report on the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School shows a scene at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, Conn., where Adam Lanza killed his mother before driving to the school and killing 26 students and staff last December.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 4:49 pm

Investigators say they haven't determined why Adam Lanza killed 26 students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last December. But they know he acted alone in that attack and his mother's murder, according to a summary report released weeks before the one-year anniversary of the shooting rampage.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Mon November 25, 2013

500,000 Lights: Family's Christmas Display Sets World Record

Decorating their house and yard with more than 31 miles' worth of lights, an Australian family has reclaimed a Guinness world record in Canberra, Australia.
Guinness World Records 2014 is out now

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 10:28 am

The Christmas decorating season is in full bloom in Australia, where a family's use of more than half a million lights has set a new world record. The Richards family's yard in Forrest, a suburb of Canberra, features a canopy of lights fanning out beneath a large tree whose trunk is wrapped in glowing colors.

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The Two-Way
9:25 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Contractors Invited To Bid On Destroying Syria's Chemical Arsenal

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 4:42 pm

Faced with a series of tight deadlines for ridding Syria of its chemical weapons, the international group running the effort is asking private chemical companies to submit bids for performing the work. The cost of the project would be capped at $54 million, and the contractors must be able to receive chemicals as early as February.

NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
2:17 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Rate Of Coastal Wetlands Loss Has Sped Up, U.S. Study Says

Saltwater wetlands that include marshes and shoals on Virginia's Atlantic coast. U.S. coastal wetlands losses were 25 percent greater from 2004-2009, according to a recent federal study.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 4:47 pm

The U.S. lost an average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands from 2004 to 2009, according to the latest data published by federal agencies. More than 70 percent of the estimated loss came in the Gulf of Mexico; nationwide, most of the loss was blamed on development that incurred on freshwater wetlands.

"The losses of these vital wetlands were 25 percent greater than during the previous six years," NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports for our Newscast unit. She also notes that the loss equals "about seven football fields every hour."

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Pakistani Who Helped Hunt Bin Laden Is Charged With Murder

Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, in 2010, who has faced legal troubles since he took DNA samples that helped prove Osama bin Laden was in Abbottabad.
Qazi Rauf AP

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 10:42 am

Pakistani doctor Shakil Afridi, who assisted U.S. intelligence agents trying to zero in on Osama bin Laden, has been charged with murder in a case stemming from a patient's death.

Afridi's lawyer, Samiullah Afridi, said he was informed about the charges Friday, and that a trial is scheduled for next month, Reuters reports.

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Prepare For Cabin Noise: FCC May End Ban On Phones During Flights

The new head of the Federal Communications Commission proposes allowing airline passengers to make phone calls during flights. Here, a passenger looks at her cellphone before a flight last month.
Matt Slocum AP

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 5:59 pm

The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a change to allow travelers to make phone calls as they fly on jetliners in the U.S. The agency's new chairman, Tom Wheeler, calls the current ban on the use of cellphones during flights "outdated and restrictive."

Here's a statement from Wheeler that was released Thursday:

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Dow Jones Index Closes Above 16,000 For First Time

For the first time in its history, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 16,000 points Thursday. The index of 30 stocks touched the mark earlier this week, when a trader was photographed at the New York Stock Exchange.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 2:42 pm

The Dow Jones industrial average tacked on 109 points Thursday for a gain of less than 1 percent. But the small rise brought a big milestone, as the industrial index closed above 16,000 for the first time in its history. The index had touched the mark earlier this week but fell short by the day's end.

Today, the Dow closed at 16,009.99.

The historic moment for the benchmark index that tracks 30 leading U.S. companies came on a day that began with positive economic news.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Number Of Homeless Declines Again, But Gains Aren't Universal

A homeless man sleeps under an American flag blanket on a park bench in New York City. New U.S. data reports a drop in the number of homeless people — but not in New York and other states.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 1:41 pm

The number of homeless people in the U.S. shrank from 2012 to 2013, according to a large government study that found the number of veterans and others who are homeless declined for the third straight year. But homeless numbers rose in New York and other states, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The study also found that nearly 20 percent of homeless people were in either New York City (11 percent of the U.S. total) or Los Angeles (9 percent).

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Sat November 16, 2013

Holy Empathy! Batkid Lives Superhero Dream In San Francisco

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, talks strategy with Batman before saving a woman from peril in San Francisco on Friday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles, creating a daylong event to grant the leukemia survivor's wish to be a superhero.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:50 pm

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

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