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
6:34 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Egypt Rocks Pirate Brands, And Flag-Gate

Good morning, and welcome to "Day -1" of the 2012 Summer Olympics. That NASA-like designation is due to events already having begun in the soccer competition, before Friday's Opening Ceremony. Men's soccer begins play today.

Here are some stories that popped up overnight:

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The Torch
1:47 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Fencer Mariel Zagunis Will Carry U.S. Flag In Opening Ceremony

Mariel Zagunis has been named the U.S. flagbearer for the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Here, Zagunis celebrates a win in the individual sabre final at the Pan American Games last year.
Jorge Saenz AP

Mariel Zagunis, the two-time gold medalist in sabre, has been named the U.S. flagbearer for Friday's Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Zagunis, who was chosen by her peers for the honor, will be the first fencer to carry the flag since 1968, when Janice Lee Romary led the U.S. team in Mexico City.

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The Torch
12:29 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

U.S. Women's Soccer Starts London Olympics With A Comeback Win

Carli Lloyd scores the U.S. team's winning goal, in a comeback win over France. The Americans are bidding for their third straight Olympic gold medal.
Graham Stuart AFP/Getty Images

On the first day of competition in the 2012 Summer Olympics, the U.S. women's soccer team bounced back from an early deficit to beat France, 4-2. The game was a rematch for the two teams that met in last year's World Cup semifinals.

France jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the match was 15 minutes old, scoring on a breakaway run by Gaetane Thiney; moments later, a short-range shot found the back of the net after several U.S. players failed to clear the ball following a corner kick.

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The Torch
8:37 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Greek Triple Jumper Suspended From Olympic Team For Inappropriate Tweets

Triple jumper Voula Papachristou, seen competing in Finland last month, has been removed from Greece's London Olympics squad over comments made on Twitter.
Matt Dunham AP

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 12:32 pm

Greek track star Voula Papachristou has been suspended from her country's Olympic team, after she made a comment about Africans who live in Greece. The comment was widely noticed on her Twitter feed, and resulted in her removal from the London 2012 roster.

On Twitter, Papachristou also reportedly expressed support for the right-wing Greek political party Golden Dawn, particularly its views on immigration.

The Hellenic Olympic Committee said that Papachristou "is suspended after her comments that go against the values and ideals of Olympism."

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The Torch
7:52 am
Wed July 25, 2012

The London Games, Seen Through A (Very) Critical Eye

Just as every Olympic athlete trains their heart out, every Olympic expert seems to wear themselves out describing what an unmitigated sham is being perpetrated on the host city. Many of those criticisms are valid, of course — especially concerns about overbuilding facilities.

For instance, NPR's Louisa Lim recently reported on China's Post-Olympic Woe: How To Fill An Empty Nest.

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The Torch
6:16 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Iran's Judo Champ Withdraws From Olympics, Ending Chance Of Facing Israeli

Originally published on Sun July 29, 2012 6:19 am

Iranian judo champion Javad Mahjoub will miss the London 2012 Olympics because he needs a 10-day course of antibiotics, according to reports. But few Olympic observers are worried about the health of Mahjoub, 21. Many of them see the withdrawal as a ploy to keep from competing against an Israeli.

From London, Tom Goldman filed this report for NPR's Newscast:

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The Torch
1:53 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Olympic Sports We Don't See Any More, And Why

Who needs two hands? At the 1904 Olympics in St. Louis, the events included All Around Dumbell, which comprised 10 one- and two-handed lifts.
Chicago History Museum/Library of Congress

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 2:14 pm

The Olympic Games are one of the most tradition-bound sporting events in the world. But that doesn't mean its sporting events are written in stone.

Since 1894, dozens of events have had their flash in the pan, and been dumped. Some have lasted only one Olympic cycle. The website Top End Sports has a nice collection of discontinued Olympic events.

Here are some of my favorite one-and-dones:

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The Torch
9:18 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 12:44 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
8:46 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 3:48 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
6:51 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
1:00 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
9:43 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 5:39 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
7:55 pm
Wed August 10, 2011

Philip Levine Named As America's New Poet Laureate

America's new poet laureate, Philip Levine, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995. Here, he's seen in a file photo at the San Joaquin River Center in Fresno, Calif.
Gary Kazanjian AP

Originally published on Wed August 10, 2011 6:19 am

America has a new poet laureate today, as the Library of Congress names Philip Levine in the one-year position. He will succeed W.S. Merwin in the post. Born in Detroit in 1928, Levine has used his poetry to examine blue-collar life, often embroidering everyday events with a sense of myth.

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