David Schaper David Schaper is a NPR National Desk reporter based in Chicago.
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David Schaper

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David Schaper at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley/NPR

David Schaper

Reporter, National Desk, Chicago

David Schaper is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, based in Chicago, primarily covering transportation and infrastructure, as well as breaking news in Chicago and the Midwest.

In this role, Schaper covers aviation and airlines, railroads, the trucking and freight industries, highways, transit, and new means of mobility such as ride hailing apps, car sharing, and shared bikes and scooters. In addition, he reports on important transportation safety issues, as well as the politics behind transportation and infrastructure policy and funding.

Since joining NPR in 2002, Schaper has covered some of the nation's most important news stories, including the Sandy Hook school shooting and other mass shootings, Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, California wildfires, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and numerous other disasters. David has also reported on presidential campaigns in Iowa and elsewhere, on key races for U.S. Senate and House, governorships, and other offices in the Midwest, and he reported on the rise of Barack Obama from relative political obscurity in Chicago to the White House. Along the way, he's brought listeners and online readers many colorful stories about Chicago politics, including the corruption trials and convictions of two former Illinois governors.

But none of that compares to the joy of covering his beloved Chicago Cubs winning the World Series in 2016, and three Stanley Cup Championships for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, 2013, and 2015.

Prior to joining NPR, Schaper spent almost a decade working as an award-winning reporter and editor for WBEZ/Chicago Public Media, NPR's Member station in Chicago. For three years he covered education issues, reporting in-depth on the problems and progress — financial, educational and otherwise — in Chicago's public schools.

Schaper also served as WBEZ's Assistant Managing Editor of News, managing the station's daily news coverage and editing the reporting staff while often still reporting himself. He later served as WBEZ's political editor and reporter; he was a frequent fill-in news anchor and talk show host. Additionally, he has been an occasional contributor guest panelist on Chicago public television station WTTW's news program, Chicago Tonight.

Schaper began his journalism career in La Crosse, Wisconsin, as a reporter and anchor at Wisconsin Public Radio's WLSU-FM. He has since worked in both public and commercial radio news, including stints at WBBM NewsRadio in Chicago, WXRT-FM in Chicago, WDCB-FM in suburban Chicago, WUIS-FM in Springfield, Illinois, WMAY-AM in Springfield, Illinois, and WIZM-AM and FM in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Schaper earned a bachelor's degree in mass communications and history at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a master's degree in public affairs reporting at the University of Illinois-Springfield. He lives in Chicago with his wife, a Chicago Public School teacher, and they have three adult children.

Story Archive

Many Airlines Are Ill-Prepared For The Wave Of Returning Passengers

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Biden Wants To Crack Down On Airline Fees To Increase Competition In The Industry

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Construction underway on the Chicago Transit Authority's Belmont Flyover project. David Schaper hide caption

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David Schaper

Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal May Be A Tough Sell To The Rest Of Congress

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What Democrats And Republicans Want When They Talk About Infrastructure

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Gambling On Supersonic Air Travel Again

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As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease, Airline Employees Are Seeing Trouble On Flights

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Stickers are stacked up for people receiving vaccinations at a pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Las Vegas on May 21. As countries open their doors to travelers again, there is confusion about how people will prove their vaccination status. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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International Travel Opens To The Vaccinated, But How Do You Prove You Got The Shot?

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The Search For Vaccination Proof That Works Better Than Paper Cards

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A screen shows canceled incoming flights at T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick, R.I., on March 30, 2020. Consumer advocates and two senators say airlines are sitting on nearly $15 billion in refunds owed to customers for canceled travel. Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Complaints Soar As Customers Fight Airlines For Refunds From Pandemic Cancellations

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Customers, Senators Urge Airlines To Change Their Refund Terms For Canceled Flights

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A line loops through security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport as travelers return to the skies after mostly staying home during the coronavirus pandemic. David Schaper/NPR hide caption

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Banking On Busy Summer Travel Season, Airlines Add More Flights And New Routes

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