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

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.

Even as the shock and horror of the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon had yet to subside Monday, people were turning to online tools to check on the safety of their friends and family who were at the event. The latest estimates of the casualties include more than 3 dozen people injured, with two dead.

As has been the case in previous calamities, Google and the Red Cross helped to connect people with runners, spectators, and volunteers who were at the race.

Here are several tools that came into use today:

People near the finish line of the Boston Marathon described horrific scenes of the chaos that followed two loud explosions in quick succession this afternoon, sending spectators rushing away from the scene in panic as others lay bloodied and wounded on the ground.

One witness, Aaron Michael told member station WGBH that he heard first one explosion and then another.

The new batch of Pulitzer Prize winners has just been announced, with novelist Adam Johnson winning the fiction prize with The Orphan Master's Son. The winners of the prizes for Americans' best work in journalism, drama, music, and writing also receive a $10,000 cash award.

Vietnam has sent what analysts believe could be the remains of a member of the American military who died in the country during the Vietnam War. After a repatriation ceremony at the airport in Da Nang Sunday, the remains were sent to Hawaii for examination and possible identification.

More than 23,600 people were victims of human trafficking in Europe during a recent three-year period, according to a new European Union report that says the problem is growing worse. Its authors say the official figures do not come close to describing the crime, which has "hundreds of thousands of victims."

Communications between the Earth and Mars are on hiatus for several weeks, thanks to interference from the sun. That means NASA's orbiters and rovers that study Mars will be left to their own devices until radio signals can once again travel between the two planets.

Known as "solar conjunction," the problem arises when the orbit of planets places the sun directly between them.

The baseball season is still young, but the New York Yankees have already faced harsh public criticism. No, we're not referring to their lackluster record. Instead, the Yanks were accused of trying to hoodwink beer drinkers with a new "Craft Beer Destination" concession stand at their Bronx stadium.

Inmates fought guards at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after military authorities decided to end communal housing in one of the prison's camps, and instead put prisoners in individual cells. At least one detainee was reportedly injured by a rubber bullet in the clash Saturday.

The violence began after the facility's commander ordered the move Saturday morning. According to the U.S. Southern Command, the decision was made after detainees covered windows and surveillance cameras, limiting guards' ability to monitor them at all times.

A police sergeant in Port Canaveral, Fla., has been fired after he brought targets bearing images resembling Trayvon Martin — a silhouetted figure in a hooded sweatshirt, holding a canned drink — to a police target practice session.

"Whether his act was hatred or stupidity, none is tolerable," Port Canaveral CEO John Walsh says of former officer Ron King, in a report by local station WFTV.

Health officials in China say they've confirmed 11 new bird flu diagnoses, bringing the number of H7N9 infections to 60, with cases spread across several provinces, the official Xinhua news agency reports. The virus, which first infected people in Shanghai and eastern China, has now sickened at least one person in Beijing, along with two others in the central province of Henan.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has resigned, ending a power struggle with President Mahmoud Abbas that rose to new heights in recent months. Fayyad had reportedly tried to quit his job earlier this week; Abbas initially refused it, but he finally accepted the resignation Saturday.

More than 100 passengers survived a crash into the sea, after the Boeing 737 they were traveling on from West Java to Bali, Indonesia, missed the runway at Denpasar International Airport. The plane came to rest in shallow waters, simplifying rescue efforts. Photographs showed the Lion Air jet in the water, its fuselage broken just behind its wings.

The aircraft was carrying 101 passengers and seven crew members when it crashed; afterward, rescue workers used rubber boats to get people off the plane.

Secretary of State John Kerry is asking China's government to help ease tensions on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea has issued threats of war as it tests its weapons systems. The top U.S. diplomat met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing just days before a North Korea-promised missile test.

"That meeting with the president ran over by quite a lot," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing. "And afterward, Kerry said it couldn't have been more constructive, and more forward-leaning."

Tiger Woods has been given a two-stroke penalty at the Masters, a tournament he's won four times, after a review found that he performed an illegal drop on the 15th hole of his second round Friday. Woods faced a possible disqualification for the infraction.

The incident began when Woods' wedge shot was a bit too on-target — it hit the base of the pin, and shot off the green and into a water hazard.

In a rare departure from tradition, Saturday's weekly presidential address was delivered not by President Obama but instead by Francine Wheeler, whose son Ben, 6, died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings last December.

Flanked by her husband, David, Wheeler called for Americans to urge the Senate to pass gun control legislation that it is scheduled to begin debating in the coming week.

Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."

Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.

The person behind the elaborate online hoax in which a fake website and Twitter feed falsely proclaimed Pastor Joel Osteen's intent to renounce Christianity and shut down his influential Houston ministry says that his goal wasn't to attack Osteen personally.

"I would like to state unequivocally my intent was not to defame Mr. Osteen," the person behind the hoax wrote in an email, adding that "he seems like an infectiously nice and genial character."

April Fool's Day was one week ago — but an elaborate hoax targeting Pastor Joel Osteen gained wide attention Monday, after those behind the hoax used Twitter, YouTube, and other social media to spread spurious claims that the pastor had renounced his faith and would close his huge Texas church.

Update at 12:15 p.m. ET, Tuesday: Man Behind Hoax Describes Motives, Public Response

Google's announcement this week that it will kill its Reader product on July 1 prompted moans of despair from those who rely on the free RSS service to monitor headlines. To illustrate the level of dependency they've come to feel, some are comparing the move to Google abandoning search.

Canadian officials are investigating an incident in which a driverless van traveled across the runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, at the same time an Air Canada flight was landing late Monday night. After the plane's pilots reportedly ignored commands to pull up, the jet "narrowly missed" the van, investigators say.

From the CBC:

The NHL will shuffle its teams before next season, moving from three divisions in each conference to a total of four divisions in the Eastern and Western Conferences. The league's owners approved the plan Thursday; the players' association gave its OK last week.

New York City's population is at an all-time high, with an estimated 8,336,697 people living in the city, according to the most recent U.S. Census Data. "For the first time since before 1950, more people are coming to New York City than leaving," said Mayor Bloomberg, announcing the gains Thursday.

Convicted murderer Gary Haugen has spent more than 30 years in prison; he's been on death row since 2007. And if he had his way, he would schedule his execution tomorrow. But in an unusual case, the Oregon Supreme Court must decide whether Haugen, who has waived his right to appeal, can die — or if Gov. John Kitzhaber's reprieve of Haugen should stand.

Alabama's Gov. Robert Bentley has signed a sweeping education bill that gives tax credits to parents who want to transfer their children from a failing public school to another public or private school. The bill became law one day after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that a lawsuit against it was premature.

As news spread that the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel was billowing white smoke to signal the election of Pope Francis, anticipation built for the new pontiff's first appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica.

Three decades after giving the world The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden is poised to release its latest work — and it's a beer. That's the latest from the Metal Injection website, whose "Bands and Booze" section makes it uniquely qualified to present such news.

A meteorite that lit the sky over Sri Lanka with a yellow and green flame when it fell to earth on Dec. 29, 2012, contains "fossilized biological structures," according to researchers in Britain, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Elaborating on claims they first made in January, the scientists are also seeking to answer critics who are skeptical of their findings.

Days after news spread that Danish restaurant Noma, three-time winner of Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title, was blamed for a norovirus outbreak in which dozens of diners fell ill, the restaurant has issued a public response and sought to clarify its handling of the situation.

Noma, the Danish eatery that has won fans with its innovative approach to Nordic cuisine, and won Restaurant magazine's "World's Best Restaurant" title the past three years, is getting some unwelcome press, after dozens of people who ate at the Copenhagen restaurant fell sick.

Update: Monday, March 11

A week after a sweeping and controversial education bill was adopted by the Alabama Legislature, the measure is on hold, with a circuit judge and the state's supreme court reviewing separate lawsuits filed over it. Democrats say Republicans broke the rules when they inserted school choice language into a bill that was originally meant to give school districts flexibility in meeting standards.