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
4:16 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Man Hailed As A Hero After Epic Swim Saves Stranded Family

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 5:10 pm

"It wasn't an option. It just had to be done."

That's the simple explanation offered by John Franklin Riggs, discussing his extraordinary effort to get help for his family after their boat capsized in the Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday night. Riggs swam for five hours in darkness before finding help near Deal Island, Md.

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Science + Technology
2:26 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

5 Stars: A Mosquito's Idea Of A Delicious Human

Many criteria — from blood type to body temperature — can play a role in affecting who attracts mosquitoes.
abadonian iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:48 pm

If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.

That's some of what we take away from a post today on the Surprising Science blog from the Smithsonian.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Teen Who Died In Asiana Crash Was Hit By A Firetruck, Police Say

Debris left behind by the crash-landing of Asiana Flight 214, released by the NTSB this week. Police officials say a teenager who died at the airport was hit by a fire truck on the runway; she had been covered by firefighters' foam.
NTSB

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:28 pm

One of the two Chinese teenagers who died in the crash-landing of an Asiana Airlines flight Saturday was hit by a firetruck responding to the scene on the runway, police officials in San Francisco said Friday. But it remains uncertain if that accident is what killed the girl.

The girl, Ye Meng Yuan, 16, was planning to visit Stanford University and attend a summer camp at a Christian school, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Let Women Ride In The Tour De France, Cyclists Say In Petition

A woman takes a picture of a little girl posing in a cyclist cutout at the 2013 Tour de France. A new petition calls for including women in the epic race.
Jeff Pachoud AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 2:13 pm

Calling road cycling "one of the worst offenders" in gender inequity, four elite female athletes have created a petition to ask the sport's hallmark event, the Tour de France, to include women next year. Citing the inclusion of women at the world's top marathons, the petition's authors say, "After a century, it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too."

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The Two-Way
7:15 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Prison Sterilization Report Prompts Call For Inquiry In California

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 3:18 pm

California lawmakers are calling for an investigation into allegations that 148 female prisoners underwent tubal ligation surgeries without the state's required approval. Some inmates said they had been pressured into undergoing the sterilization procedure, according to a report by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

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The Two-Way
5:11 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

'A $34 Million Waste Of The Taxpayers' Money' In Afghanistan

Photos depict scenes at the $34 million command center in Camp Leatherneck, completed in November. U.S. troops will never use the facility, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction says.
SIGAR

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 6:22 pm

"On a recent trip to Afghanistan, I uncovered a potentially troubling example of waste that requires your immediate attention."

That's one of the opening lines of a letter the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction sent to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel this week. In it, Special Inspector General John Sopko detailed how a contract worth $34 million was used to build a facility U.S. troops will never use.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

DNA Ends Years Of Doubt On Boston Strangler Victim, Police Say

Mary Sullivan, seen here in a photo displayed at a 2000 news conference, was the final victim of the Boston Strangler, officials said Thursday. They plan more DNA tests on the evidence.
William Plowman AP

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 2:12 pm

The Boston Strangler's final victim has been identified, according to police who say DNA tests have linked Albert DeSalvo, who confessed to being the serial killer, to the death of Mary Sullivan in 1964. The authorities will exhume DeSalvo's body to get "a biological sample" that might provide a 100 percent match.

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The Two-Way
11:20 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Def Con Hacking Conference Puts Feds In 'Time-Out'

An image of the site promoting Def Con 21, a large annual gathering of hackers in Las Vegas. The meeting's leader is asking federal workers to stay away from this year's event.
Def Con

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 1:02 pm

As one of the world's largest gatherings of hackers, the Def Con conference has long welcomed experts from the security industry and the U.S. government, along with academics and hackers. But this year, Def Con's leader is asking federal workers to skip the event, due to recent revelations about U.S. electronic surveillance.

The request was announced Wednesday in a message titled, "Feds, we need some time apart," which was posted at the Def Con site. It reads:

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The Two-Way
6:57 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Snowden Is A Whistle-Blower, Americans Say In Poll

More than half of Americans in a new Quinnipiac University national poll see former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden, who spilled secrets about the NSA's surveillance programs, as a whistle-blower, not a traitor.
Ole Spata DPA /LANDOV

More than half of American voters in a new Quinnipiac University national poll say that Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Interviewers asked more than 2,000 people about the National Security Agency contract worker who leaked secret documents about U.S. surveillance. They also asked about the line between privacy and security.

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The Two-Way
5:35 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Asiana Flight 214: Both Pilots Were Well-Rested, The NTSB Says

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman briefs reporters on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, which crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:37 pm

The two main pilots on Asiana Airlines Flight 214, the jetliner that crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday, had each gotten eight hours of sleep the night before their trip to San Francisco, says the National Transportation Safety Board.

The agency's chief, Deborah Hersman, provided that information and other updates to the media and the public on the investigation into the crash that killed two passengers and injured dozens.

Here are details from today's briefing:

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The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Pleads Not Guilty To 30 Federal Counts In Boston

MIT police officers stand at attention outside a federal courthouse where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 counts today. He is also accused in the death of MIT officer Sean Collier.
Winslow Townson AP

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 9:47 am

Appearing in the same Boston federal courtroom as many of the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty to 30 counts Wednesday, during an arraignment hearing.

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The Two-Way
3:02 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

U.S. Job Market Seen As X Factor In Fed's Stimulus Plans

Traders work at the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. Stocks rose in the moments after details of the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting were released today.
Richard Drew AP

The Federal Reserve must ensure the U.S. job market is in full health before it begins to ease its aggressive bond-purchasing program, its top officials said at the Fed's latest policy meeting. This afternoon, the central bank released the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting of June 18 and 19.

In that session, the officials cited a moderate pace of economic expansion, but said it was coupled with an unemployment rate that remains high.

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The Two-Way
12:42 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Live From Mecca, It's Ramadan

Muslims circle the Kaaba as they pray inside the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during last October's hajj pilgrimage.
Hassan Ammar AP

Live streaming views of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the holy city in Saudi Arabia that is closed to virtually all non-Muslim visitors, are playing online, depicting pilgrims' visits for the holy month of Ramadan. The video shows the faithful performing prayers and circumambulation around the Kaaba, the sacred cube at the mosque's center.

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The Two-Way
7:10 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Asiana Crash Trip Was Pilot's First As Instructor, NTSB Says

The pilot who attempted to land Asiana Airlines Flight 214 in San Francisco , says the National Transportation Safety Board. Here, a member of the team investigating the crash-landing takes a photo of the plane's landing gear.
NTSB Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 8:49 pm

Three pilots, all of them with extensive flying experience, were in the cockpit of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 when it crash-landed at San Francisco International Airport Saturday, says National Transportation Safety Board Chair Deborah Hersman.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Members Of Elite Firefighting Unit Memorialized In Arizona

Former Granite Mountain Hotshot firefighters walk past ceremonial firefighter boots and gear during a memorial honoring 19 fallen firefighters in Prescott Valley, Ariz., on Tuesday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 4:56 pm

Thousands of firefighters are gathered in Prescott, Ariz., today, to honor the Granite Mountain Hotshots, the 19 firefighters who were killed by a wildfire on Sunday, June 30. The speakers include Gov. Jan Brewer and Vice President Joe Biden.

"These men were some of the strongest, most disciplined" people in the world, Biden said, calling them "an elite unit, in every sense of that phrase."

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The Two-Way
3:19 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

California's Prison Sterilizations Reportedly Echo Eugenics Era

From 2006 to 2010, at least 148 female inmates at two California facilities had tubal ligation surgeries. Some of the surgeries took place at the Valley State Prison for Women, seen here in 2000.
Gary Kazanjian AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 5:16 pm

Nearly 150 women were sterilized in California's prisons without the state's approval, a practice that critics say targeted inmates who were seen as being at risk of serving a future jail term. Those numbers represent data from 2006 to 2010, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting, which first reported the news.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Kroger Buys Harris Teeter In $2.5 Billion Grocery Deal

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:30 pm

In a merger of grocery chains, Kroger Co. is buying Harris Teeter Supermarkets Inc., the companies announced Tuesday. The move expands the reach of Kroger, already the nation's largest grocery chain, into the Mid-Atlantic region. The buyout values Harris Teeter at $49.38 per share, a premium of more than 33 percent over its share price earlier this year.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Death Toll Rises To 13 In Quebec Train Explosion

The death toll has been raised to 13 in a freight train's derailment and explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, this past weekend.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 7:50 am

Police in a small town in Quebec, Canada, where a runaway freight train holding crude oil caused a massive explosion, say they have found the bodies of eight more victims, bringing the death toll in Saturday's incident to 13. The authorities say dozens of people are still unaccounted for.

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Asiana Crash: Plane Was 34 Knots Below Target Speed, NTSB Says

National Transportation Safety Board head Deborah Hersman speaks at a news conference in San Francisco on Monday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 6:59 pm

Three seconds before it struck the ground Saturday, the speed of Asiana Airlines Flight 214, a Boeing 777, was 103 knots — the lowest measured by its data recorders, and far below the target speed of 137 knots, says National Transportation Board Chairman Deborah Hersman.

The crash-landing at San Francisco International Airport left two passengers dead and more than 180 people injured, as Mark reported for The Two-Way this morning.

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry Says He Won't Seek Re-Election In Texas

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 7:01 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he will not run for re-election in 2014, feeding speculation that he might again pursue the presidency as a Republican candidate in the 2016 race.

The governor made his announcement at a news conference Monday in San Antonio, which was carried live online by The Texas Tribune.

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