Bill Chappell

Bill Chappell is a writer and producer on the Newsdesk, in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.

Chappell's work at NPR has ranged from being the site's first full-time homepage editor to being the lead writer and editor for online coverage of several Olympic Games, from London 2012 to Pyeongchang 2018. 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 the past, Chappell 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.

In 2009, Chappell was a key editorial member of the small team that redesigned NPR's web site. One year later, NPR.org 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, Chappell was part of 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 on major events.

Chappell's work for CNN included editing digital video and producing web stories for SI.com. He also edited and produced 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, Chappell attended graduate school for English Literature at the University of South Carolina.

Revising its early numbers for the first quarter of 2014, the Commerce Department says the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent at an annualized rate. Last month, estimates of the quarter's gross domestic product had shown a small gain of 0.1 percent.

Government analysts blame the slump on "a significant decline in inventory investment," especially among car dealerships. They also say U.S. exports declined along with spending on housing and government programs.

An NPR interview in Chicago included an all-too-real example of the city's violence when a burst of gunfire erupted down the street from where NPR's David Schaper was conducting an interview Wednesday. He had been speaking to a neighborhood activist when a gunman opened fire nearby.

A federal judge has put Ohio's next two scheduled executions on hold, saying he needs more information about the state's proposed changes to its lethal injection process.

A scarcity of the drugs that were once commonly used to carry out U.S. executions has complicated the lethal injection process — and has prompted several death row inmates to challenge whether Ohio and other states are violating the Constitution's protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

From Ohio Public Radio, Karen Kasler reports for our Newscast unit:

The underwater search for black boxes from a missing Malaysian Airlines jet has ended, as the robotic sub that searched nearly 330 square miles of the ocean hasn't found anything to back the idea that "pings" detected in that area came from emergency equipment.

Search and salvage teams will now assess where they should look next for the jet's remains, after Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Center said that "no signs of aircraft debris have been found" by the American Bluefin-21 robotic sub.

The National Black Church Initiative is calling for its members not to give money to NPR in response to the cancellation of Tell Me More, the nationally syndicated show that the company plans to stop producing after July.

"This cancellation disheartens us deeply," NBCI President Rev. Anthony Evans said in a statement. "Tell Me More is a brilliantly formatted radio program that showcases a multitude of viewpoints."

Snake-handling is a tradition for the Coots family of Kentucky. But months after taking over for his father to lead a Pentecostal church, Cody Coots says he was bitten this week. His father, Jamie, died of a poisonous snakebite in February.

The family has been featured on a reality TV show, as the Two-Way reported:

Seeking to correct what he calls "misleading" statements about his work for U.S. government agencies, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden tells NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams he "was trained as a spy" and worked for several.

Google gave us an update on its driverless car project Tuesday, posting video and images of people trying out its self-driving car. The tech company built three prototypes from scratch, creating compact cars that look like they're on an extreme no-options diet. For now, their top speed is 25 mph.

Chechnya's leader says the country hasn't sent fighters to join rebels in eastern Ukraine, denying a charge that gained substance after Chechens were reportedly found in the aftermath of recent fighting in Donetsk. Ukraine is continuing its offensive against the rebels.

Ukraine's President-elect Petro Poroshenko says he will crush the pro-Russian insurgency, promising to step up operations against armed men who have occupied buildings and set up barricades.

A Florida law that sets an IQ test score of 70 as a minimum in determining who's eligible for the death penalty is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court says. In a reversal of a state court's decision, the justices say Florida's rule ignores norms in the psychiatric profession. The opinion also cites the Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment.

"Florida set a hard-line rule that the death penalty could not be imposed on convicted felons whose IQ is 70 or below," NPR's Washington desk says in its summary of the case.

A former minister of Thailand's ousted Cabinet was detained Tuesday at a news conference at which he criticized the coup that took control of the country last week. The arrest comes as another detained official — ousted Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra — was released.

From Bangkok, Michael Sullivan reports for our Newscast unit:

Pro-Russian rebels who had taken over an international airport in Donetsk have been pushed back, Ukraine's government says. Violent clashes erupted Monday and Tuesday; at least 35 people have died.

From Kiev, NPR's Peter Kenyon reports for our Newscast unit:

"The battle for Donetsk airport appears to symbolize the government's tougher stance on the pro-Russian insurgents in the east. Using fighter jets and helicopter gunships, the military says it has retaken control of the airport, though rebels dispute that claim.

More than 200 girls who were abducted by militants in Nigeria's northeast have been located — but Nigeria's military says it's too risky to try to free them by force. The news comes after reports that the government had been negotiating for at least some of the girls' release.

The U.S. and other nations have contributed manpower and resources to the search for the girls, whose mass kidnapping inspired an international campaign demanding their safe return. U.S. surveillance aircraft have taken part in the search, using sensors that can detect body heat in complex environments.

Elliot Rodger's parents were rushing to stop him from hurting anyone Friday night when they heard news of a shooting and feared their son was involved. They had driven to Santa Barbara after seeing an alarming video in which he promised a deadly "revenge against humanity."

A list that was meant to help journalists report on President Obama's trip to Afghanistan on Sunday has instead created an awkward and potentially damaging situation. That's because it mistakenly included the name of the CIA station chief in Kabul, the agency's top official there.

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