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
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 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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The Edge
2:53 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Williams Is Second American To Win Winter And Summer Olympic Medals

U.S. silver medalists Elana Meyers, left, and Lauryn Williams pose after their final run in the women's bobsled Wednesday. Williams becomes only the second American in history to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
Alex Livesey Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:29 am

The top American women's bobsled teams took silver and bronze in Sochi Wednesday, but the story of the day was Lauryn Williams, who became just the second American in history to win medals at both Summer and Winter Olympics. She's the fifth person to have accomplished the feat.

Williams won a silver medal to match the silver she won in the 100 meters 10 years ago at the Athens Games. She also owns an Olympic gold medal, from being part of the U.S. women's 4x100 meter relay team in London two summers ago.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

World's Largest Oyster Is Size Of A Man's Shoe

It's alive: At nearly 14 inches long, this oyster has been certified as the world's largest. It's also around the same size as a man's size 10-1/2 or 11 shoe here in the U.S.
Wadden Sea Centre

The world's largest oyster is nearly 14 inches long and resides in Denmark, according to the folks at Guinness World Records. And it's still alive and growing, according to Christine Ditlefsen, the biologist at the Wadden Sea Centre whose world record was recently certified.

The oyster was found in October in Wadden Sea National Park, a shallow area off of the North Sea on Denmark's southwestern coast. Its size and shape could be said to resemble a huge plaintain. But when they found it, the Wadden staff compared the oyster to a large and sturdy shoe.

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The Edge
3:56 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Maybe It's The Suit: U.S. Speedskaters Swap Gear In Sochi

Shani Davis of the U.S. skates in the prototype of the official US Speedskating suit during a training session at the Adler Arena Skating Center in Sochi, Russia, Friday. As U.S. skates have fallen short of their goals at the Winter Olympics, some skaters have asked to switch to their old suits.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:34 pm

The American speedskating team has fallen short of its goals at the Sochi Winter Olympics, with favorites such as Shani Davis and Heather Richardson failing to win medals. Some athletes believe the new racing suits they were given for the Olympics may be slowing them down.

Update at 7 p.m. ET: Back To The Old Suits

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The Edge
4:34 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Substitute Racer Takes Olympic Silver In Sochi

Silver medalist Denny Morrison of Canada celebrates his feat, made possible after a teammate gave him a slot in Wednesday's 1,000-meter speedskating race in Sochi. Morrison stands next to gold medalist Stefan Groothuis of the Netherlands.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:31 pm

Olympic athletes often endure weeks of anticipation as pressure builds toward their moment on the global stage. That wasn't a problem for Canadian Denny Morrison, who got his spot in the speedskating finals just one day ahead of the race. Now he has a silver medal.

Many Americans were following the race mainly because American speedskating superstar Shani Davis failed to get a medal in the 1,000-meter race. He finished in eighth place.

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The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Comedian And Actor Sid Caesar Has Died At 91

Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca in a scene from Your Show of Shows. Caesar, whose sketches lit up 1950s television, died Wednesday at 91.
AP

The multitalented Sid Caesar took live and complex comedy skits on the air as a pioneer in 1950s TV. Caesar, who established a new comedic tradition in America before he was 30, died in Los Angeles on Wednesday at 91.

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

With Senate's OK, Debt Limit Bill Will Head To White House

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:22 pm

The Senate has voted to extend the federal debt limit, giving final congressional approval to a bill that is meant to cover the government's finances into 2015. The measure passed on a 55-43 vote.

But the most dramatic phase of the legislation's passage came just before the final tally, when it had to get past a cloture vote. Politico says, "Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) demanded the 60-vote threshold on the debt hike."

As The Hill reports:

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Yankees' Jeter Says 2014 Season Will Be His Last

Derek Jeter says the upcoming baseball season will be his last. Jeter has played his entire career with the New York Yankees.
Tom Szczerbowski Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:49 pm

"I want to start by saying thank you," New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter tells fans on his Facebook page, starting a note that should quell the wide speculation about Jeter's future in baseball. He will retire after this season, he said.

"I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart," Jeter wrote. "The 2014 season will be my last year playing professional baseball."

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

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Found Guilty Of Corruption

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin enters court for his corruption trial in New Orleans last month. He was charged with accepting bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:35 am

A federal jury has found Ray Nagin guilty of bribery and fraud. The former New Orleans mayor, 57, was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, in an indictment that included 21 counts. He was found guilty on 20 of those counts.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

House Votes To Extend Debt Limit To March 2015

The House of Representatives has voted to extend the federal debt limit, after the Republican majority abandoned its hopes to tie other provisions to the measure. By a 221-201 vote, the House voted to extend the debt limit to March 15, 2015.

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET: Ryan Reportedly Voted 'No'

In the end, 28 Republicans joined with 193 Democrats to approve the move.

On Twitter, several congressional reporters quickly noted that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was one of many Republicans who voted against the legislation.

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The Edge
12:43 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Erin Hamlin Sets A U.S. First With Medal In Luge

America's Erin Hamlin broke a 50-year drought Tuesday, winning the first singles luge medal for the U.S. at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
Julian Finney Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 2:04 pm

It took 50 years — and for Erin Hamlin, three Olympics — but an American has finally won a singles medal in the sport. Erin Hamlin took bronze behind two powerful Germans in the women's final Tuesday.

Natalie Geisenberger's winning margin of 1.139 seconds was the largest at the Olympics since 1964, the sport's first year at the games. She set a track record on her first run Monday and did the same again on Tuesday, in a run that saw her top 84.5 mph.

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The Edge
11:47 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Shaun White Falls Just Short Of Three-Peat Quest In Half-Pipe

Shaun White, right, congratulates gold medalist Iouri Podladtchikov of Switzerland after the Snowboard Men's Halfpipe Finals of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Tuesday.
Al Bello Getty Images

In an event that came down to a dramatic final run, American snowboarder Shaun White finished in fourth place in the men's halfpipe Tuesday, falling just short of the podium with a score of 90.25. White needed a score of better than 94.75 to take gold.

The margin was close – the top four men all finished with scores above 90. But Switzerland's Iouri Podladtchikov moved from third to first place on his second run, in the event in which only the best score is counted.

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The Edge
4:33 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Time-Delay Question: Do Olympics Announcers Record Live?

NBC replayed Jamie Anderson's win in the Snowboard Slopestyle at least twice. One viewer wonders if the network's announcers use the time delay to hone their broadcast.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:59 pm

The Winter Olympics brings up many questions about the sports themselves. But people are also wondering whether announcers might use the big time difference between Sochi and the U.S. to improve their coverage.

That idea came up over at Quora, the question-and-answer site:

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The Two-Way
4:02 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

U.S. Resets Obamacare Deadline For Some Businesses To 2016

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:50 pm

The Obama administration says businesses employing 50-99 people now have until Jan. 1, 2016, to provide health insurance, rolling back part of the requirement known as the employer mandate. Under the Affordable Care Act, larger companies must offer the coverage in 2015.

NPR's Julie Rovner filed this update for our Newscast desk:

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Stuart Hall, 'Godfather Of Multiculturalism,' Dies

Sociologist and public intellectual Stuart Hall, who helped shape conversations about race and gender in Britain and around the world, has died at 82. For decades, the Jamaican-born Hall was also a fixture in leftist politics.

Hall, who died in England on Monday, was diabetic and had been ill for some time.

NPR's Neda Ulaby filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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The Edge
8:59 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony: As It Happened

Ooops: The fifth Olympic ring fails to deploy in the early moments of the Opening Ceremony at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia, Friday.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:17 pm

Large-scale pageantry opened the Sochi Olympics on Friday, in a symbolically rich Opening Ceremony that was marred by an early and highly visible mistake — one of five massive Olympic rings failed to fully appear.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Who 'Won' The Creation Vs. Evolution Debate?

Bill Nye (left) and Ken Ham debated whether creation is a viable model of origins in the modern scientific era during a lengthy debate Tuesday. The points they raised have fueled an online conversation that continues.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:07 pm

Days after a wide-ranging debate on creationism and evolution between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the event is driving an online conversation. Themes of belief and literalism, logic and faith — and, for some, relevance — are being aired and disputed. And some wonder what the debate accomplished.

The video of the more than two-hour debate, in which Nye and Ham presented their views on how the Earth and its surroundings were created, has been viewed more than 830,000 times on YouTube. At one point, the live event drew more than 500,000 viewers.

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The Edge
8:12 am
Thu February 6, 2014

What Do You Want To Know About The Sochi Olympics?

For some, the chance to watch curling is a reason to be excited about the Sochi Winter Olympics. Here, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud delivers a stone during the 2012 World Men's Curling Championship.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

What are people excited about seeing at the Winter Games, which start this week? How do figure skaters spin without getting dizzy? What kind of place is Sochi? Those are some of the questions we're seeing on Quora, the question-and-answer site that calls itself "your best source of knowledge."

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The Two-Way
4:32 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

'Almost Otherworldly': The Sea Caves Of Lake Superior, On Ice

Scenes from the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Bayfield, Wis., where Lake Superior's ice is thick enough to walk to the area's sea caves for the first time in five years.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:28 pm

This winter's intense cold has brought a fringe benefit to people who live around southern Lake Superior: They can walk to the uniquely beautiful, and currently frozen, sea caves of the Apostle Islands. It's the first time the lake's ice in that area has been thick enough to walk on since 2009.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

U.S. HVAC Firm Reportedly Linked To Target's Data Security Breach

Hackers who broke into Target's computer network and stole customers' financial and personal data used credentials that were stolen from a heating and air conditioning subcontractor in Pennsylvania, according to digital security journalist Brian Krebs.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

MLS And Beckham Will Create A New Soccer Team In Miami

Former soccer star David Beckham holds a ball at a news conference where he announced he's exercising an option to buy a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami.
Lynne Sladky AP

David Beckham's career in American soccer isn't over, despite his recent retirement from the field. Beckham confirmed Wednesday that he will create a Major League Soccer expansion team in Miami. Details about the team's stadium and start date are still being worked out.

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The Two-Way
4:54 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Watch The Creationism Vs. Evolution Debate: Ken Ham And Bill Nye

Bill Nye, left, and Ken Ham take the stage to debate evolution and creationism Tuesday in Kentucky.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:13 pm

Does it damage children to teach them biblical creationism? What are the costs of denying evolution, one of biology's core tenets?

Those questions were asked Tuesday night, in a live debate between best-selling Christian author Ken Ham and Emmy Award-winning educator Bill Nye ("the Science Guy") at the Creation Museum of Petersburg, Ky.

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