Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a blogger and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship blog. In the past, he has coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, and edited the rundown of All Things Considered. He frequently contributes to other NPR blogs, such as All Tech Considered and The Salt.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor on 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

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 has trained both digital and radio staff to use digital tools to tell compelling stories, in addition to "evangelizing" — promoting more collaboration between legacy and digital departments.

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 during the Iraq war.

Chappell's work for CNN also included producing Web stories and editing digital video for, and editing and producing stories for's features division.

Before joining CNN, Chappell wrote about movies, restaurants and music for alternative weeklies, in addition to his first job: editing the police blotter.

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.



Tue July 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Arizona Cardinals Hire Female Coach For Training Camp And Preseason

Jennifer Welter, who played in a Texas Revolution game as a running back in 2014, will help coach the linebacker corps for the Arizona Cardinals this summer.

Jen Welter, an athlete and sports psychologist, will become an NFL coach in what is believed to be a first. The Arizona Cardinals have hired Welter to coach the team's inside linebackers during this summer's training camp and preseason.

"I am honored to be a part of this amazing team," Welter said in a tweet Monday night. She thanked the Cardinals and head coach Bruce Arians.

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Tue July 28, 2015
The Two-Way

Former N.Y. Prison Employee Enters Guilty Plea Related To Inmates' Escape

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 3:39 pm

Joyce Mitchell, who has reached a plea deal over charges that she aided a prison escape, is seen here during a June court date, along with her lawyer, Steven Johnston.
POOL Landov

Joyce Mitchell, the Clinton Correctional Facility worker who was charged last month with aiding two convicted killers' escape, has pleaded guilty after reaching a deal with prosecutors.

Mitchell, 51, was an instructor in the tailor shop at the prison in northern New York — a position that officials say allowed her to pass tools such as hacksaw blades and a screwdriver to prisoner Richard Matt.

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Fri July 24, 2015
The Two-Way

Two Teachers Hailed As Heroes In Louisiana Shooting

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 2:25 pm

A screenshot of a fundraising page for teachers Jena Meaux and Ali Martin, who are being hailed as heroes for their actions in Thursday's theater attack.

The actions of two teachers who were in a Louisiana movie theater when a gunman opened fire Thursday night are being praised, as officials say the women's bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of unsuspecting patrons.

Two people were killed in the attack in Lafayette, La.; nine more were injured. After being cornered by police, the gunman, identified as John Russel Houser, 59, reportedly killed himself.

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Fri July 24, 2015
The Two-Way

Too Good To Be True: TV Reporter Was In On Magicians' Photobomb

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 11:15 am

Two magicians prepare to perform a trick behind a Sky News reporter; the network says the seemingly live report was never broadcast.

It had all the elements of an Internet hit: Two magicians hijack a TV news update, performing in the background behind an oblivious reporter. The video quickly went viral in Britain — but then it emerged that the Sky News team was in on the joke.

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Thu July 23, 2015
The Two-Way

Autopsy Of Sandra Bland Doesn't Suggest Homicide, Texas County Officials Say

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 6:17 pm

A guard motions to a medic (left) who arrived with a stretcher to Waller County Jail in Hempstead, Texas, on July 13, the day Sandra Bland died at the jail. Officials said Thursday that an autopsy did not find signs that Bland's death was a homicide.
Waller County Sheriff's Office Landov

Releasing details — and photographs — from the autopsy of Sandra Bland, officials in Waller County, Texas, say that the cause of death for Bland, a black woman who died in the county's jail, was suicide by hanging. Officials also say she had marijuana in her system.

The case has drawn national scrutiny as Bland, who had driven to Texas from Illinois, died in police custody three days after she was pulled over by a state trooper for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. She was 28.

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Thu July 23, 2015
The Two-Way

Jury Confirms Aurora Theater Shooter Is Eligible For Death Penalty

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 4:14 pm

A Colorado jury cleared the way for the second phase of the sentencing process for James Holmes, who was found guilty of killing 12 people and injuring 70 more in a shooting rampage at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater. One week after convicting Holmes, the jury confirmed in a unanimous finding Thursday that he's eligible for the death penalty.

The jury said that when Holmes opened fire in a crowded theater in 2012, he acted in "extreme indifference to the value of human life generally."

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Thu July 23, 2015
The Two-Way

Japan's Nikkei Will Purchase Financial Times Group For $1.3 Billion

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 2:07 pm

Copies of the Financial Times newspaper are displayed for a photograph in London. British publisher Pearson is selling the paper to Japanese media company Nikkei.
Niklas Halle'n AFP/Getty Images

In a development that comes after a German firm was reportedly close to reaching a deal to buy the Financial Times Group from the Pearson publishing company, the Financial Times will instead be bought by Japanese media company Nikkei, for 844 million pounds ($1.3 billion) in cash.

Earlier Thursday, the Financial Times itself had reported that the newspaper's publisher was on the verge of being sold to German media group Alex Springer. Other reports had suggested that Bloomberg or Thomson Reuters were potential buyers.

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Wed July 22, 2015
The Two-Way

Charleston Shooting Suspect Roof Could Face Death Penalty Over Federal Charges

Originally published on Fri July 31, 2015 4:00 pm

Dylann Roof, seen here at a recent court hearing in Charleston, S.C., will face federal hate crime charges over a mass shooting that police say he carried out at a black church.
Grace Beahm AP

Dylann Roof, who police say carried out a ruthless attack that killed nine black worshippers in a Charleston, S.C., church, is now facing federal hate crime charges along with more than a dozen other serious charges he's already accused of.

"Hate crimes are the original domestic terrorism," Attorney General Loretta Lynch says.

The 33 counts center on both the victims' race and their identity as church-goers who were attempting to follow their religious beliefs when Roof attacked.

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Wed July 22, 2015
The Two-Way

Marijuana Growers Hit A Snag: Toxic Pesticides

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 10:27 am

Its legal status and wide range of uses make marijuana a tough plant to regulate — or even to advise farmers about. Here, young marijuana plants are seen at a growing facility.
Elaine Thompson AP

Farmers who grow marijuana for Colorado's legal market are running into problems as they try to control mildew and pests. Because of the plant's illegal status at the federal level, a main source of agricultural guidance isn't available to pot farmers.

Attempts to regulate marijuana production often hit another problem, as the plant's wide range of uses sets it apart from many traditional food crops.

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Tue July 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Actor Theodore Bikel Dies At Age 91

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 3:06 pm

Theodore Bikel, seen here in 2013, died Monday after a long illness.
Jim Ruymen UPI /Landov

Actor and musician Theodore Bikel, whose talents landed him memorable roles on the stage and screen, has died at age 91. His manager Robert Malcolm confirmed the news to NPR's Neda Ulaby, who says Bikel "died last night at a hospital in Los Angeles after a long illness."

Some of Bikel's most notable work took place on stage — starting with an early breakthrough in the London staging of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which he starred opposite Vivien Leigh.

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Tue July 21, 2015
The Two-Way

Winner Of French Scrabble Title Does Not Speak French

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 8:52 am

Nigel Richards, seen here at a Scrabble tournament last winter, won the French-language Scrabble championships Monday. He began studying the French Scrabble dictionary in May.
Yui Mok PA Photos /Landov

The Scrabble career of Nigel Richards went from great to astounding this week, after he won the French-language Scrabble World Championships. A New Zealand native, Richards has won several English-language titles; his new victory follows weeks of studying a French dictionary.

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Mon July 20, 2015
The Two-Way

American Zach Johnson Wins British Open In 3-Way Playoff

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 5:36 pm

Zach Johnson won the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, on Monday. He's seen here teeing off on the 18th hole in the playoff round.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

American Zach Johnson has added a second major title to his career, winning the British Open on Monday in a dramatic four-hole playoff. Masters and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth narrowly missed a chance to join the playoff, quashing dreams of a Grand Slam in 2015.

"It's surreal," an emotional Johnson said after the win, adding: "I'm thankful. I can't play any better than I did. My wife is my rock."

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Mon July 20, 2015
The Two-Way

Military Finds U.S. Paid $14.7 Million For Overdue Warehouses In Afghanistan

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 2:51 pm

The interior of one of several large warehouses at Kandahar Airfield. Because the U.S. military can't use them, they'll likely pass to the Afghan government.

Early last year, the Pentagon's Defense Logistics Agency accepted a $14.7 million warehouse facility. Newly built in Afghanistan, it had 173,428 square feet of climate-controlled space — but it was finished so late that it never fulfilled its intended use. Now it's likely to be transferred to the Afghan government.

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Mon July 20, 2015
The Two-Way

Affair-Enabling Website Ashley Madison Is Compromised By Hackers

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 11:43 am

The website of the "married dating" service Ashley Madison was the target of hackers who are now demanding that the service be discontinued.

Ashley Madison, a website that helps millions of married people cheat on their spouses, has lost a trove of personal and confidential information to hackers who are threatening to release the data of more than 37 million users.

News of the data hack comes at a time when Ashley Madison's parent company has raised its profile by backing a related TV show; its leaders have also discussed a potential $200 million stock offering.

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Fri July 17, 2015
The Two-Way

Marine Corps Identifies 4 Service Members Who Died In Chattanooga Attack

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 10:40 pm

Caroline Dove holds a photo of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Skip Wells, her boyfriend, at her home in Savannah, Ga., on Friday. Wells was among four Marines killed Thursday in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Russ Bynum AP

Updated at 10:40 p.m. ET

Their experience levels ranged from multiple deployments in war zones to one year in the service with no deployments. Their homes ranged from Georgia to Wisconsin, but their lives converged in Thursday's deadly attack in Tennessee.

The Marine Corps has formally identified the victims as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells.

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