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
12:05 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Germany Offers Third Gender Option On Birth Certificates

Germany will allow parents to choose a third indeterminate option for newborn babies, under a new law that takes effect Friday.
Deshakalyan Chowdhury AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 12:14 pm

A German law takes effect today that establishes a third gender option for parents filling out birth certificates for newborn babies. They can choose "indeterminate" if the child shows both male and female characteristics.

The parents will make that choice by leaving the boxes for male and female genders blank. The new law is meant to avoid the need to label an intersex baby as male or female before the child is old enough to decide.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Man Behind Oregon's Famous Exploding Whale Dies

A report by KATU-TV on officials' decision to blow up an 8-ton dead whale on an Oregon beach in 1970 went on to become an early viral video. The highway engineer who led the operation died this week.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 10:37 am

Oregon highway engineer George Thornton, who in 1970 led an operation to blow up a dead beached whale with half a ton of dynamite, died this week at age 84. Thornton's decision resulted in a foul shower of whale blubber; video of the event has resurfaced periodically, often leading viewers to declare the whole thing a hoax.

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The Two-Way
11:14 am
Thu October 31, 2013

'I Was Very Shocked,' Says Driver Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass

A California driver who received a ticket for wearing a Google Glass headset this week says the existing laws are unclear.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 10:54 am

The Google Glass is a hands-free device, but that didn't stop a California driver from getting a ticket for wearing the headset during a traffic stop this week. Cecilia Abadie, who's in Google's Explorer program of people testing Glass before its official launch, got a ticket for speeding — and for wearing a device that could block her view of the road.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

'We Hurt A Lot Of People,' Westboro Pastor's Granddaughter Says

Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, is seen during her days with the church. Now alienated from their family, Phelps-Roper and her sister, Grace, speak to religious and cultural groups.
Jennifer Hack MCT/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:25 pm

Nearly a year after breaking with the Westboro Baptist Church, two of Pastor Fred Phelps' granddaughters are enjoying a new freedom. But as they tell a Canadian newspaper, they also want to extend empathy to those they hurt in the name of a cause championed by the man they call "Gramps."

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The Two-Way
2:02 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

U.N. Condemns U.S. Embargo Of Cuba, Again

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 2:02 pm

In a U.N. vote that has become something of a tradition, only one country agreed with the United States that its embargo of Cuba should continue. The final count in the General Assembly vote was 188-2.

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports for our Newscast unit:

"For the 22nd year in a row, the U.N. General Assembly approved a mainly symbolic resolution that condemns the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. This year's tally was 188-2, with three abstentions. Only Israel sided with the U.S. this time.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Sat October 26, 2013

Marcia Wallace, Longtime 'Simpsons' Cast Member, Dies At 70

Actress Marcia Wallace has died at age 70. She was a fixture on American television for decades, thanks to long-running roles on The Bob Newhart Show and The Simpsons.
Angela Weiss Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 5:46 pm

The woman behind Edna Krabappel and Carol Kester has died. Actress Marcia Wallace, who is known to generations of TV fans for distinctly different roles on The Bob Newhart Show and The Simpsons, was 70 years old.

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Medicare Begins Open Enrollment, With An Online Caveat

An image taken from the Medicare website shows a message warning users that "information on this website may not be up to date," a situation blamed on the federal shutdown.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 1:08 pm

The open enrollment for Medicare programs that began Tuesday will run into December. While the Medicare website doesn't have the problems found in the new federal health system's sites, the government shutdown means that information "may not be up to date," the site warns its users.

For Newscast, NPR's Julie Rovner reports:

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Apple Hires Burberry CEO Ahrendts To Head Retail Division

Angela Ahrendts is leaving her post as CEO of Burberry to head the online and retail division at Apple. She will become the first woman in the tech company's senior executive ranks.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 12:45 pm

After going a year without a permanent executive in charge of its retail division, Apple said Tuesday morning that it is hiring Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts as a senior vice president. She will be the first woman on Apple's team of senior executives.

A veteran of the fashion industry, Ahrendts, 53, is a native of New Palestine, Ind., who has headed Britain's Burberry since 2006. On Tuesday, the company reported total revenue of more than $1.64 billion in the six-month period that ended Sept. 30. Her tenure included a successful revamping of the company's online store.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Tue October 15, 2013

18-Foot Oarfish Livens Up A 'Leisurely Snorkel' In California

People hoist the body of an 18-foot oarfish that was discovered in Toyon Bay at Catalina Island off the California coast.
Courtesty of Catalina Island Marine Institute

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:43 pm

A snorkeler off the coast of California found more than she bargained for on the ocean floor Sunday, when she saw the large eyes of an 18-foot fish staring back at her. It turned out to be a dead oarfish, a mysterious creature known to live in waters thousands of feet deep.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Millions Of Miles From Shutdown, Mars Rovers Keep Working

A photo composed of nearly 900 images taken by the rover Curiosity shows a section of Gale Crater near the equator of Mars. The rovers are continuing to work through the U.S. government shutdown.
NASA AP

Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 10:55 am

The budget negotiations in Washington are not front-page news on Mars. There, millions of miles away, NASA's rovers continue to operate, taking photographs and collecting data as they prepare for the coming Martian winter.

NPR's Joe Palca has this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
1:17 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Al-Qaida Suspect Captured In Libya Will Be Tried In New York

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 12:39 pm

Abu Anas al-Libi, a suspected leader of al-Qaida who was seized by U.S. special forces during a raid in Libya earlier this month, is now on American soil and will face trial in New York on charges related to 1998 bombing attacks on two U.S. embassies in Africa, a U.S. official tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Collectible Art At Street Prices: Banksy Sells Pieces For $60

An image from a video posted by Banksy shows a man representing the artist staffing a sidewalk stall featuring signed works for $60. Banksy says he only made $420 Saturday, with one customer negotiating a 2-for-1 discount.
Banksy NY YouTube

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 8:53 am

New Yorkers who love a good bargain missed a golden opportunity Saturday, when the artist and provocateur Banksy, whose sly graffiti art adorns collectors' walls, opened a sidewalk kiosk in Central Park to sell his work for $60 apiece.

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The Two-Way
9:51 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Taliban Urges Rejection Of U.S.-Afghan Security Deal

Afghan men stand at a livestock market set up for the upcoming Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, or "feast of sacrifice," in the center of Kabul Monday. In an email, the Taliban is calling on Afghans to reject a new security agreement with the U.S.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Mon October 14, 2013 9:38 am

As a bilateral security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan begins an approval process, the Taliban's leader urged Afghans to reject the deal, calling it a colonial arrangement with elements of slavery.

The message came in an email on the eve of the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday. In it, Mullah Mohammad Omar told Afghans to keep fighting, as NPR's Sean Carberry reports for our Newscast unit:

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Stampede On Indian Temple Bridge Kills Dozens

Indian villagers on tractors move past victims of a stampede on a bridge across the Sindh River in Madhya Pradesh state, India, on Sunday. Dozens of people died after a panic broke out.
AP

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 1:27 pm

At least 89 people reportedly died in a stampede Sunday at a temple in central India, where 25,000 people had crowded onto a bridge. Police believe a rumor that the bridge was collapsing sparked panic and confusion, according to local media.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: More Deaths Reported

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Barriers Breached At World War II Memorial On Mall

A crowd gathers at the World War II Memorial to call for reopening national memorials closed by the government shutdown. The rally drew support from military veterans, Tea Party activists and Republicans.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Sun October 13, 2013 12:52 pm

A crowd of demonstrators converged on the World War II Memorial on the National Mall on Sunday morning, protesting the government shutdown that has included blocking full access to monuments in Washington.

The "Million Vet March," protest was organized by groups including the Brats for Veterans Advocacy, which called on military veterans and others to march against the barricading of the memorial, which its website calls "a despicable act of cowardice."

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