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.

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Trump Administration's New Regulation Favors Airlines At Travelers' Expense

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A traveler gets his temperature checked Monday while waiting to check in at Los Angeles International Airport. Americans packed airports over the weekend even as coronavirus cases surged and public health experts urged people to stay home. Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Jae C. Hong/AP

Millions Of Americans Traveling For Thanksgiving, Ignoring CDC Advice

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Americans Reconsider Thanksgiving Travel Plans As Coronavirus Surges

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FAA Clears Boeing 737 Max To Return To The Skies

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A Boeing 737 Max jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson, flies past parked Boeing jets as it prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in September. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

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Thanksgiving Day is next week and that usually means long lines in crowded airports and traffic jams on the nation's highways, but that probably won't be true this year due to the coronavirus. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

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Boeing 737 Max Close To Flying Again. Has It Become Safer?

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A Boeing 737 MAX jet, piloted by Federal Aviation Administration chief Stephen Dickson, prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight late September in Seattle. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

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Wisconsin Voters Say Both Sides Must Move Past Contentious Election

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People gather with signs that read "Voters Decide" at the Civic Center Park while waiting for the results of election in Kenosha, Wis., on Wednesday. Wong Maye-E/AP hide caption

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Wong Maye-E/AP

Workers board up a building in downtown Washington, D.C., in preparation for possible protests. Tyrone Turner/WAMU hide caption

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Election 2020: Cities And Businesses Prepare For Post-Election Unrest, Violence

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Boeing will be laying off thousands of additional employees as the airplane manufacturer continues to lose money due to the coronavirus pandemic. Elaine Thompson/AP hide caption

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The Tampa International Airport has started coronavirus testing for passengers with a boarding pass or proof of a reservation for a flight in the near future. Danny Valentine/Hillsborough County Aviation Authority hide caption

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Itching To Travel? Preflight Coronavirus Tests Are Getting Passengers In The Air

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Can Airport COVID-19 Testing Encourage More People To Fly?

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We Answer Your Questions About How To Celebrate The Holidays Safely

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