Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer who currently works on The Two Way, NPR's flagship news portal. In the past, he has edited and coordinated digital features for Morning Edition and Fresh Air, in addition to editing 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 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 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 SI.com, and editing and producing stories for CNN.com'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.

Monday night's NCAA basketball national championship matches two teams that have a knack for dramatic finishes. But the teams' rankings in this tournament didn't predict their presence in the final: Connecticut was a No. 7 seed, and Kentucky a No. 8. The NCAA says their combined seeding of 15 is a new record.

As you would expect, the game will be broadcast on television by CBS, with the tipoff scheduled for 9:10 p.m. ET in AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.

An appeal brought by a photographer who refused to take pictures of gay weddings was turned down by the Supreme Court on Monday morning. The court also refused to hear a challenge to a ban on campaign contributions by corporations, and allowed a district court case over U.S. surveillance to continue.

The photography case was brought by Elane Photography, a New Mexico business run by a husband-and-wife team who said their First Amendment rights allowed them to refuse service to a woman who had sought to hire the company to photograph her commitment ceremony with her partner.

An emotional Oscar Pistorius broke down soon after taking the witness stand Monday at his murder trial in South Africa, saying he has nightmares about the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in which he wakes up to the smell of blood. He's charged with killing her after an argument on Valentine's Day in 2013.

Calling it the "most promising lead" so far, the leader of the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner says ships have again detected a signal on the same frequency used by "black box" emergency beacons. But Angus Houston also reiterated that it's too early to draw conclusions.

Dozens of injuries were reported and more than 100 people were arrested in California Saturday, after people who had been attending a street party clashed with police. After the annual party near the University of California, Santa Barbara turned violent last night, hundreds of law enforcement officers were sent in to help.

Seeking to advance the cause of equal pay for women, President Obama plans to sign an executive order Tuesday barring federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries with each other.

Federal contractors would also be forced to give the Labor Department data about their employees' pay along with their race and gender, under new rules the president is instructing the agency to adopt.

Two undefeated teams are still alive in the women's NCAA basketball tournament – and they could meet in a record-setting final Tuesday, if Connecticut and Notre Dame can get past Stanford and Maryland, respectively, on Sunday. The four programs have all won national championships in the past.

The teams will play in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Here are Sunday's tip-off times on ESPN and WatchESPN online, all times Eastern:

  • Maryland vs. Notre Dame: 6:30 p.m.

The archbishop of Atlanta is apologizing for building a multimillion-dollar home with money earmarked for charitable use. Anger erupted over Archbishop Wilton Gregory's $2.2 million mansion last month. The Tudor-style mansion is in Buckhead, one of the city's priciest neighborhoods.

From Atlanta, member station WABE's Jim Burress reports:

"Atlanta's Archbishop says he was wrong to spend so much money.

It's been two weeks since the massive mudslide came down on a tiny mountain community in Washington state. The disaster killed 30 people; 13 are still missing. The tragedy prompted an outpouring of donations — and officials in Oso say they don't have room for more items.

Federal disaster relief officials are visiting the site Sunday, as member station KUOW's Sara Lerner reports for our Newscast unit:

Ships and search planes are being sent to investigate a pulse signal that a Chinese patrol ship outfitted with a black-box detector picked up twice this weekend, says Australia's Angus Houston, who is leading the international search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet. But he adds that it's too early to say whether the signal is a breakthrough in the search.

Author Peter Matthiessen, who used fiction and nonfiction to explore how man relates to nature, has died at 86. The revered naturalist and novelist had been suffering from leukemia; he died Saturday afternoon, his publisher confirmed.

In a career that began in the 1950s, Matthiessen connected readers to people and places that were being irrevocably changed by the modern world. And in the process, he often gave them a window into the changes that shaped his own life, as well.

The image comes from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who gained fans last year when he he tweeted photos from the International Space Station, along with his refreshingly wide-eyed excitement at being in orbit.

The soldier who is believed to have killed three people in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, had argued with fellow soldiers over paperwork shortly before violence erupted Wednesday, according to numerous accounts.

March Madness lives on into April. There are only four teams left in the men's NCAA bracket, as Kentucky, Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin vie for spots in Monday night's championship game.

Here are the tip-off times for today's Final Four; the two games will air on TBS (all times Eastern):

  • Florida vs. Connectucit: 6:09 p.m.
  • Wisconsin vs Kentucky: 8:49 p.m.

Here are some highlights of coverage we're seeing:

France's ban keeping stores from being open late at night does not run afoul of the country's constitution, a top court has ruled. Cosmetics retailer Sephora had hoped to keep its flagship Paris store open until midnight. Instead, the shop must observe the traditional closing time of 9 p.m., according to the ruling.

A Chinese Coast Guard ship has detected an ultrasonic pulse on a frequency used by black box recorders, according to China's state news agency, fueling new hope that searchers might be closing in on a beacon from the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that vanished weeks ago. The ship found the pulse signal in the south Indian Ocean, Xinhua says.

In a hearing before the House Oversight and Investigations panel, GM CEO Mary Barra and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator David Friedman testify Tuesday on concerns surrounding GM's recall of a faulty ignition switch that's been linked to more than a dozen deaths.

The jerseys America's soccer players will wear at this summer's World Cup are out – and they're attracting attention with their striking departure from previous designs. The uniforms use large swaths of red, white, and blue, in a combination some are comparing to the French national flag. Others say it looks like the Russian flag.

In his first show since a controversy erupted over a Comedy Central tweet about one of his skits last week, Stephen Colbert poked fun at the media, his network and himself Monday night, declaring that despite a #CancelColbert campaign against his show on Twitter, "I'm still here."

The tweet in question, you'll recall, referred to a Colbert skit that aired Wednesday in which he made fun of the Washington Redskins and the team's owner, Dan Snyder, for creating the Original Americans Foundation rather than changing the NFL team's mascot, as critics have demanded.

Ukraine's presidential election season took an interesting turn over the weekend, as Darth Vader declared his candidacy for the nation's highest office, promising that he knows what it takes to rebuild an empire.

"I alone can make an empire out of a republic to restore former glory, to return lost territories and pride for this country," said Vader, according to Agence France-Presse.

Hobie Alter, whose innovations helped thousands of people go surfing and sailing, died in California on Saturday at age 80. In the 1950s, Alter helped perfect a foam-core surfboard that revolutionized the sport. A decade later, his iconic Hobie Cat catamaran design opened the world of sailing to a wider audience.

An hours-long protest against recent police shootings spun out of control late Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M., as officers in riot gear reportedly used tear gas and other methods to break up crowds. Hundreds of people took part in the rally, which spread over several streets.

Protesters eventually clashed with police, who threw gas canisters and charged at members of the crowd to break up the gathering, according to The Associated Press, which quotes the city's Mayor Richard Berry calling the situation Sunday night "mayhem."

An international court has ordered Japan to revoke whaling permits in the Antarctic and stop granting new ones.

The country's government had argued that hunting whales was part of a research program, but the International Court of Justice ruled Monday that Japan hasn't generated enough scientific research to justify killing hundreds of whales. Critics said the hunts were instead a way to justify commercial hunting.

In perhaps the most compelling match of her comeback to elite tennis, Martina Hingis won the doubles title at the Sony Open Sunday, playing alongside Sabine Lisicki. The pair entered the tournament in Key Biscayne, Fla., on a wild card granted by organizers.

"I definitely did not think I would be standing here," Hingis said of the win, according to the Sony Open website. "Hopefully, I'll be back."

What if William Shakespeare's plays faced off in a tournament, like basketball squads spewing Elizabethan verse? That's the idea behind a bracket that pits 32 of the bard's plays against each another, in a contest arranged by New York's New Victory Theater.

Much like the NCAA basketball tournament that inspired it, the theater has been tallying votes and updating its bracket on its road to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Britain's monarchy has released a new photo of Prince George, the 8-month-old son of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, showing a cute boy who's more taken with the family dog than with having his picture taken.

Egypt will hold its presidential election on May 26 and 27, a government election commission announced Sunday. The results aren't likely to be declared until late June; many expect the country's former military chief to win the office.

From Cairo, NPR's Leila Fadel sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"The date was set days after Egypt's military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi announced his resignation from the army and declared that he plans to run for president. The elections will begin at the end of May, and a winner will be declared by June 26.

Riot police were deployed in Tuscon last night, after University of Arizona students and fans took to the streets to vent their anger over a 1-point loss in overtime that ended their men's basketball team's hopes of playing for a national championship.

Families who lost loved ones on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 are asking Malaysian officials to explain what happened to the jet that went missing three weeks ago. Dozens of relatives of the missing passengers arrived in Kuala Lampur from China Sunday.

Holding banners with messages like, "Hand us the murderer" and "Give us our relatives back," the family members chanted, "Tell us the truth," at a news conference held at a hotel after their arrival Sunday. Around two-thirds of the flight's passengers are Chinese. The plane had been heading to Beijing when it disappeared.

After weeks filled with nothing but losses, the Philadelphia 76ers finally won a basketball game Saturday night, ending a 26-game losing streak that had tied the worst in NBA history. Their last previous win came on Jan. 29.

"It's over," declared the headline at the Philadelphia Inquirer. Just one day earlier, a columnist for the newspaper had declared that infamy was "hovering over the 76ers like a buzzard eying a carcass."

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