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 Torch
11:18 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Watch The London Olympics Online: A Guide To Online Video And Mobile Apps

The NBC Olympics app will include different levels of streaming video. The network requires registration for access to its live content from London.
NBC

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 2:44 am

If you love to watch the Olympics, this is your year: NBC is pumping out more than 5,500 hours of video for your TV and digital devices. We've covered that before — but how do you go about watching?

Here's a guide to how you can keep up with the Summer Games:

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The Salt
10:46 am
Tue July 24, 2012

A Bartender's Antidote To Sweet And Citrus? Bitter Bark, Myrrh And Secrets

Alexandra Bookless, head bartender at The Passenger, suggests starting off with Fernet in a cocktail like the Hanky Panky.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:48 pm

For bartenders, the words "last call" have a hidden meaning: It won't be long before they're enjoying a drink of their own. And after hours of making tonics, flips and fizzes, what does a bartender drink? Often, the answer is short and simple: Fernet.

In a world of citrusy, sugary drinks that can all taste alike, Fernet Branca stands alone. Depending on how your palate responds, the Italian digestif can be called everything from refreshingly bold to an acquired taste to cough syrup that's gone bad.

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The Torch
8:51 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Olympic Coaches Won't March; North Korea Wants Games On TV

London Underground employee John Light (!) carries the Olympic torch onto a train at Wimbledon Station.
LOCOG

Good morning. With three days until the official opener of the 2012 London Games, here's a summary of the news coming out of the Olympics:

  • U.S. (and other) coaches will not be walking in Friday's Opening Ceremonies, because Olympic honchos wanted to shorten the ceremony. Some don't even have tickets.
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The Torch
3:00 pm
Mon July 23, 2012

Before Olympics, U.S. Basketball Gives Itself Hard Tests; Spain Awaits

Kobe Bryant (left) drives against Manu Ginobili of Argentina during an exhibition game between USA and Argentina in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday. The U.S. team faces another test Tuesday, against world No. 2 Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

The U.S. Olympic basketball team narrowly beat Argentina late Sunday, 86-80, as the two teams prepare for the start of the London Games Friday. The tight score came despite a fast start for the U.S. squad, who were dressed in throwback uniforms inspired by the 1992 Dream Team.

The Americans raced to a 31-16 lead early on, but they were only 4 points ahead late in the game, and pulled away thanks to three-pointers by Kevin Durant and Chris Paul — who posted a photo of his uniform on Instagram.

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The Torch
11:43 am
Mon July 23, 2012

Many Muslim Olympians Get A Break On Ramadan Fasting

Britain's Abdul Buhari competes in the discus at the European Athletics Championships last month. With the Olympics coinciding with Ramadan, Buhari and many other Muslim athletes are postponing their fasting until after their events.
Ian Walton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 7:39 am

Hundreds of Muslim athletes are participating in the London Olympics, which officially begin Friday. But along with travel and other logistics, they're also adjusting to Ramadan, the holy month that requires them to fast.

Many athletes say they'll forego the ban on consuming food and drink, as Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports on Morning Edition. The daylong fast is a threat to a strong performance — and their hopes of bringing pride to their nation, they say.

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Phelps And Lochte Set To Square Off In Olympic Trials Final

Michael Phelps swims in a preliminary heat at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska. Phelps and rival Ryan Lochte were awoken from their afternoon naps by a fire alarm at their hotel Monday.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 7:35 pm

The London Olympics are still more than a month away, but fans of swimming were eager to see the 2012 edition of the rivalry between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte get started Monday, when the two Olympic gold medalists face off in the final of the 400-meter individual medley at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Update at 8:32 p.m. Lochte Beats Phelps

Lochte defeated Phelps at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

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The Two-Way
5:55 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Greek Workers Find Ancient Highway In Subway Dig

Officials unveiled an ancient road found during construction of Thessaloniki's new subway system Monday.
Nikolas Giakoumidis AP

A Greek city's new subway project has led to the discovery of an ancient road made of marble that was laid nearly 2,000 years ago. The road in Thessaloniki is made of paving stones that show signs of use by both horse-drawn carriages and local children, the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Paralympic Cyclists Inspire Each Other, And A Documentary

Paralympic cyclists are featured in the upcoming documentary Unstoppables.
black train films

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 5:44 am

The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Summer Olympics are just over a month away — leading NPR and other media to cover the intense preparations for the games. That also means the Paralympic Games are on the way, as athletes with physical disabilities round into top form for the Aug. 29 opening day.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Vatican Hires Fox News Reporter To Advise Media Office

People gather on St. Peter's square to hear Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican Sunday. The Vatican has hired Fox News correspondent Greg Burke to advise its press office.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Seeking to modernize and widen its dealings with the media, the Vatican has hired Fox News Channel's Rome correspondent to advise its press office. The move will put journalist Greg Burke, who is also a member of Opus Dei, into a new role working with Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

For NPR's Newscast desk, Sylvia Poggioli reports from Rome:

"Greg Burke, 52, has been with Fox 10 years, and he'll be the first Vatican communications expert with experience outside the world of Catholic media.

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The Two-Way
12:06 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Fukushima Markets Get First Local Seafood Since Nuclear Meltdown

Markets in the port city of Soma, in Fukushima, Japan, are once again selling local seafood. In this file photo, volunteers help clean up a Soma seafood restaurant damaged in last March's tsunami and earthquake.
Hiro Komae AP

Originally published on Mon June 25, 2012 1:11 pm

Seafood markets in Fukushima, Japan, are being stocked with locally caught products again, as officials seek to reintroduce local fare in the area that was hit by an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear meltdown in March of 2011.

The AP reports on the details:

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Mon June 25, 2012

Venus Williams Bows Out Of Wimbledon On First Day

Venus Williams stretches for a return in her first-round defeat to Russia's Elena Vesnina on the first day of the Wimbledon Championships. For Williams, 32, it was her earliest exit from Wimbledon in 15 years.
Miguel Medina AFP/Getty Images

Venus Williams has lost in the first round of the Wimbledon Championships, a striking defeat for the five-time winner of the grass-court tournament. She lost to Elena Vesnina of Russia in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, after failing to establish her serve.

"I have to give credit to her," Williams said. "She made hardly any errors and served well."

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All Tech Considered
2:01 am
Fri June 22, 2012

Tesla's New Electric Sedan: Five Passengers, 89 MPG, And No Engine

The new Model S from Tesla has a maximum range of 265 miles with a full charge. The car can also reach 60 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds — a feat the company says may affect overall mileage.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 9:46 am

The Tesla electric car company has high hopes for its new Model S, which it calls "the world's first premium electric sedan." The new car, which is being delivered to customers Friday, is priced at around half the cost of the only other Tesla model, the svelte, two-door Roadster.

The new car's sticker price starts around $57,000; a $7,500 federal tax credit drops the starting price just below $50,000. But like its gas-powered cousins, this electric vehicle has so many options available that its price can soar to near $100,000.

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All Tech Considered
1:50 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

ICANN's Call For New Domain Names Brings Criticism, And $357 Million

ICANN President and CEO Rod Beckstrom unveiled nearly 2,000 proposed new "top-level" domain names during a press conference in London Wednesday.
Tim Hales AP

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:01 pm

ICANN, the corporation that rules the Internet's address book, plans to increase the number of "top level" domains from the current 22 to 1,000 domains starting in early 2013. But not everyone is happy with that plan — and many say it's an open call to price-gougers and con artists.

Others complain that with 1,930 applications, ICANN — a non-profit corporation — raised just over $357 million. The U.S.-created entity was also in the news last spring, when it approved the .xxx domain.

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Sports
4:41 am
Thu June 14, 2012

A Minor Leaguer's Life: Bats, Games And A Nickname

Tyler Saladino, 22, makes a throw from second base during warm-ups with the AA Birmingham Barons.
Russell Lewis NPR

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 10:51 am

Tyler Saladino plays baseball in the minor leagues in Birmingham, Ala. A prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, he was sent to the AA Birmingham Barons after spending part of spring training with the major league club.

And when he arrived in Alabama, Saladino's first task was to find a place to live, as he tells Morning Edition's David Greene. He settled on sharing an apartment.

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The Salt
9:13 am
Sat June 9, 2012

To Grow A Craft Beer Business, The Secret's In The Water

Craft brewers are reaching markets far from their home breweries. In a Washington, D.C., store, beers from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Vermont, and elsewhere are for sale.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 8:47 pm

It's a good time to be a craft brewer, as Americans are thirsty for full-flavored and local beers. But when small breweries grow, they can also risk losing some of the "craftiness" their fans love. And when they expand, many brewers have to rewrite their recipes — starting with the water.

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The Picture Show
2:38 am
Thu May 31, 2012

On The Way Back To Base: 'We're Gonna Get Shot At'

Sgt. Kyle Gonzales, a sniper with the 82nd Airborne, smokes a cigarette after a battle near the village of Babaker, Ghazni province. The soldiers have been engaged in gun battles every time they push into the hamlets north of their forward operating base.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 12:01 pm

U.S. and Afghan forces are fighting to gain control of a major crossroads in a part of Afghanistan that has seen so few NATO troops that one village elder mistook the Americans for Russians — from the long-ago Soviet war.

"It's an absolutely crucial area," says NPR photographer David Gilkey, who has been embedded with U.S. troops involved in the offensive in eastern Afghanistan's Ghazni province.

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All Tech Considered
2:02 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Travel Apps That Help You Pack, Explore, And Enjoy The Scenery

An image from a demo of the Stuck on Earth app, which Lauren Goode of All Things D calls "a photographer's dream."
Stuck on Earth

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 6:59 am

Mobile phones and tablets have put a world of information at our fingertips, even when we're on the go. It would seem natural, then, for smartphones to help make traveling easier and more fun.

But not all apps are created equal — so Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep sought advice from Lauren Goode, a senior editor at All Things D, where she recently reviewed travel apps. Here are some of the tips Goode discussed with Steve:

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Education
1:44 am
Thu May 24, 2012

National Geography Bee: Test Your World Knowledge

The 10 finalists of the 2012 National Geographic Bee are competing for prizes including a $25,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
Rebecca Hale National Geographic

Originally published on Thu May 24, 2012 11:40 am

The final round of the 2012 National Geographic Bee takes place Thursday, with students between the fourth and eighth grades testing their knowledge of countries, canals and lava lakes. Of the 54 contestants who came to the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., for the bee, only 10 remain.

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All Tech Considered
6:24 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Stolen Phone Beams Photos To Owner, Who Puts Them On Facebook

A month after Katy McCaffrey's iPhone was stolen, photographs began streaming from the phone to her "cloud" account. She used them to create a photo album on Facebook; she called it "Stolen iPhone Adventures."
Facebook

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 7:06 pm

There are many ways to find a lost or stolen cellphone. You can call the number and see who answers; you can use "Find My Phone" apps that track your phone's GPS. Or, if your camera phone automatically posts photos to your account in "the cloud," you can simply watch your photo feed and look for clues in the strange new images that start popping up. Just be prepared to see anything — like scenes from a cruise ship.

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The Salt
4:26 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

U.S. Craft Beer Brewers Thrive, Despite Small Share Of The Market

A row of taps highlights specialty and imported beers at Brouwerij Lane, in Brooklyn, New York. Craft brewers have found a way to thrive, even as the U.S. economy struggles.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 10:35 am

It's a good time to brew beer in America. According to beer expert Julia Herz, U.S. brewing isn't just on the upswing, it's on top. "We're now the No. 1 destination for beer, based on diversity and amount of beers," she says.

But if you want to see the strength of America's beer industry, you may want to look past beverage giants like Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors. According to the Brewers Association, nearly 2,000 American brewers operated during 2011 — the most since the 1880s.

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The Two-Way
2:16 am
Fri May 18, 2012

Bike To Work Day: Your Photos, And Riding Advice From Grant Petersen

Jennifer Drake and her daughter, Alex, pause before their morning ride. "My daughter and I bike to school (her work) 3 miles roundtrip daily," Drake writes.
@JennLDrake

Originally published on Fri May 18, 2012 9:18 pm

For many people, Bike to Work Day (which is today) is a reason to put air in their bike's tires and see if their chain is too rusty to get them to work on time. And as a growing list of photographs shows, many people who follow NPR online also ride to work.

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The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Get Ready For Bike To Work Day (And Share Your Photos)

Three men stand with their penny farthing bicycles. Follow their example for Bike to Work Day, and take a photo of yourself and your bike. Then, post the photo to Twitter or Instagram, with the hashtag #NPRbike.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 16, 2012 5:11 pm

Bike to Work Day is this Friday, May 18. And that prompts a question: Do you bike to work? If so, you should prove it — by taking a photo of yourself with your bike. Then share the picture, and we'll consider it for NPR's Bike to Work Day gallery.

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The Two-Way
12:18 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

'Mama Bird' Evelyn Johnson Dies At 102; Logged 7 Years Of Flight Time

Evelyn Johnson, who holds a world record as the most experienced female pilot, appeared on NPR in 2003. Johnson died Thursday at the age of 102.
Charles Mayer NPR

Originally published on Tue May 15, 2012 1:12 pm

Evelyn Bryan Johnson, a record-setting pilot who was born just six years after the Wright brothers made their historic flight, has died at the age of 102. Johnson, who began flying in 1944, holds the Guinness world record for the most hours logged by a female pilot — more than 57,000.

In addition to her accomplished flying record, Johnson also helped many other pilots earn their wings. After one student called her Mama Bird, the nickname stuck with Johnson, as she gave lessons and FAA flight exams to thousands of pilots.

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The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Rare Calico Lobster Turns Heads, And Escapes Dinner Menu

The calico lobster known as Calvin is shown in this photo provided by Boston's New England Aquarium. The lobster is dark with bright orange and yellow spots.
Tony LaCasse New England Aquarium

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:29 pm

A calico lobster that had been living in obscurity off the coast of Maine has now been catapulted into a sort of celebrity, thanks to its rare coloring: a calico mix of orange and yellow spots. Researchers say it could be a 1 in 30 million specimen.

The invertebrate was caught off Winter Harbor, Maine; it was saved from the cooking pot at Jasper White's Summer Shack restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., after the staff noticed its striking coloration.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Russian Agency Says It Foiled Potential Attack On Sochi, 2014 Olympics Host City

A Russian anti-terrorism agency says that its secret service agents have thwarted a planned attack on Sochi, the city slated to host the 2014 Winter Olympics. Russia's FSB security service says it found 10 caches of weapons that it believes were meant to be used during either preparations for the Olympics or in an attack during the Games themselves.

From Moscosw, Jessica Golloher filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu May 10, 2012

And Now For The Weather, Let's Go To Prince Charles

Prince Charles presented the weather report on a BBC Scotland newscast, surprising many viewers.
BBC Scotland

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:39 am

In Scotland, viewers of a nightly BBC news program got a surprise Thursday, when Prince Charles stood in front of a weather map to tell them about all the rain and cold they'd soon experience.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Mars Rover Opportunity Emerges From Winter Doldrums, Gets Back On Move

A mosaic of images taken in January 2012 shows Opportunity's vista north (left) and northeast (right), in an outcrop known as "Greeley Haven," where the rover spent its fifth Martian winter. The image released by NASA is presented in "false color," to make differences in the landscape easier to see.
NASA

With the darkest days of the Martian winter now over, NASA took its Opportunity Mars Rover for a drive this week. The rover had been stationary while its solar panels lacked enough sunlight to power its batteries.

The rover's drive Tuesday was a short one: "about 12 feet northwest and downhill," according to NASA. The agency says Opportunity has driven 21.4 miles since it landed on Mars in January of 2004.

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All Tech Considered
2:23 am
Wed May 2, 2012

NBC Will Stream The London Olympics Live — But Only To TV Subscribers

Many track fans watched online four years ago, as sprinter Usain Bolt set a world record at the Beijing Olympics. This year, NBC will stream video of all 302 events online. And Bolt, seen here showing his appreciation for video in 2010, will try to repeat his feat.
Mark Dadswell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 6:03 am

For decades, Olympics fans have loathed two words: "tape" and "delay." But this summer, things will be different: For the first time, NBC will stream live video of the London Games, online and via mobile.

If you think that decision is overdue, you're not alone. Sports Business Daily media reporter John Ourand says he is shocked it has taken this long for the network to put live video of all Olympic events online.

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

'Incredible' Race: America's Lopez Lomong Sets 2012 World Record [VIDEO]

In his first race at the 5000-meter distance, runner Lopez Lomong set a 2012 world record. But the American also ran into some unusual trouble late in the race. This file photo shows Lomong at the 2008 Olympics.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 2:07 pm

The sports world is brimming with talk about Lopez Lomong, the American runner who set a 2012 world best in the men's 5,000-meter race in California Sunday. It was Lomong's first race at that distance (just over 3 miles), which he covered in 13 minutes and 11.63 seconds. But the race took a very unusual turn in its final laps.

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The Salt
9:53 am
Mon April 23, 2012

Don't Call It A Malbec: Europe Sours On British Winery's Plan

The European Union is forcing a British winery to give away wine made with Argentinian Malbec grapes. Here, a cluster of Malbec grapes hang from a vine.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 10:17 am

A British winemaker has finally been given official approval to release a limited-edition wine made in collaboration with Malbec grape growers in Argentina, on one condition: It can't sell the wine, or label it a Malbec. Actually, it can't even call it wine at all.

The Chapel Down winery's only option for getting rid of its wine is to give it away as a sample, calling it a "fruit-derived alcoholic beverage from produce sourced outside the EU."

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