A year of illustrations and photography at NBC News
In an ever-changing news cycle and under tight deadlines, illustrators and photographers are tasked with bringing visual life to some of the most important stories of our time. See a sampling of our striking original art of 2021.
'Magic dirt': How the internet fueled, and defeated, the pandemic's weirdest MLM
Black Oxygen Organics became a sudden hit in the fringe world of alternative medicines and supplements, where even dirt can go for $110 a bag.
Illustration by Robert Beatty
2020? or 2021?
So much happened this year, it can be hard to keep track. Take our quiz to see if you remember when something actually occurred.
Illustration by Filippo Fontana
After the Riot
It’s been 100 days since the attack on the Capitol, and those who were inside still struggle with their memories.
Photography by Frank Thorp V
Meet the Compton Cowboy riding to honor Black cowboys and Juneteenth
Tre Hosley will take part in the Bill Pickett Invitational, an all-Black rodeo airing for the first time on network television Saturday.
Photography by Bethany Mollenkof
Mobile home dwellers hit even harder when facing eviction
"I feel like we're losing it all," said one owner.
Photography by Ackerman + Gruber
In a Pennsylvania town, a Facebook group fills the local news void
The News Alerts of Beaver County group has become a must-read after the decline of the local newspaper. That's worked out, sometimes.
Illustration by Chelsea Stahl
'If you build it, they will come': California desert cashes in on early cannabis investment
“It’s been incredible to see the transformation,” said Doria Wilms, deputy city manager of Desert Hot Springs. “We don’t see it slowing down.”
Photography by Maggie Shannon
Ukraine's war-torn Donbas region is on the verge of environmental disaster
“For now, the Nova mine is coping with the waters,” a former worker said. “But this is nature, it can’t be predicted.”
Photography by Oksana Parafeniuk
In wealthy Loudoun County, Virginia, parents face threats in battle over equity in schools
“This has made people afraid to speak up,” one mother said. “They’re afraid that what happens to us is going to happen to them."
Illustration by Anuj Shrestha
Opinion | Covid vaccine honor systems are as ridiculous as they sound
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we can’t rely on the decency of those around us. A willingness to blindly trust simply doesn’t compute.”
Illustration by Olivia Fields
Opinion | Covid lockdowns turned buying plants into the next big pandemic trend — for good reason
Pandemic houseplant parents are filling the voids in our social lives — and apartments — with an influx of flora.
Illustration by Cari Vander Yacht
Opinion | What we should keep post-pandemic
These lessons from the quarantine era made our lives richer, healthier and more meaningful. Here's what to hold on to after Covid.
Illustrations by Anjali Nair and Chelsea Stahl
Latinas in trucking are finding their place — in the driver's seats of 18-wheelers
“I never in my head would have thought that I would be able to or I would be in truck driving,” says Tracy Barajas, a Latina trucker from California.
Photography by Alyson Aliano
‘Carol’s Journey’: What Facebook knew about how it radicalized users
Internal documents suggest Facebook has long known its algorithms and recommendation systems push some users to extremes.
Illustration by Doug Chayka
Cancel 'curry'? Why South Asian American chefs say it's time for the word to go
Desi Americans say the British colonial term “curry” doesn’t represent what they grew up eating and are refusing to cater to the Western gaze.
Illustration by Kiran Joan
Opinion | The Covid vaccine means a return to work. And a wave of resignations.
For everyone exiting the pandemic feeling burned out, know you are not alone.
Illustration by George Wylesol
A year later, protesters injured by police are still trying to heal
Protesters filled streets around the world after George Floyd’s killing. For some, the scars of that summer run deep.
Photography by Aaron Ricketts
For veterans with PTSD, pandemic ‘feels a lot like wartime’
Some veterans have spent years working to overcome their trauma. The Covid-19 crisis has thrust them back to their darkest days.
Photography by Jenna Schoenefeld
Unable to resist the urge to wave at the end of Zoom calls? You're not alone
From our tiny squares of digital real estate, many of us have become aggressive wavers. Body language experts say this is a good thing.
Illustration by Jack Sachs
‘Snowball effect’: The global reasons why you can’t buy what you want right now
From chicken tenders to toys to bottles of wine: 7 items hurt by backlogs or rising prices.
Illustration by Anuj Shrestha
Five Americans on what $50K of federal student loan forgiveness would mean to them
President Joe Biden has said he wants to provide $10,000 federal student debt relief. Some Democrats want that number to be $50,000.
Illustration by Madison Ketcham
They joined Black Lives Matter protests in Des Moines, Iowa. It changed their lives.
Activists described unexpectedly finding a calling. People who had never attended a City Council meeting are now running for a seat. But they’ve also faced consequences.
Photography by Rachel Mummey
Joe Biden is proving progressives wrong. And they're loving it.
"Biden has been incredibly responsive to the progressive movement," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, a first-term Democrat from the New York City area.
Illustration by Eliana Rodgers
Beloved NY fabric shop to close after 46 years
Built on a half-century love story and rocketed to viral fame last year, Saroj Goyal’s Dress Shoppe II will soon be gone from the East Village.
Photography by Julius Constantine Motal
Opinion | Stop obsessing about your Covid weight gains. Love your body and have a hot (fat) girl summer.
We survived a global pandemic and now you're worried about the size of your jeans? Let's just refuse to ever be ashamed of our bodies again.
Illustration by Anjali Nair
Opinion | The online dating beauty filter trap
These tools will make you look more like the widely admired beauty ideal. But if you use them, you could be disappointing everyone — including yourself.
Illustration by Michelle Rohn
Pride 30: The Firsts
June is Pride Month, and this year, we're celebrating by honoring 30 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer firsts.
Illustration by Sol Cotti
Opinion | My post-Covid family reunion wasn't what I expected. But it was so much of what I needed.
Before this lost year, flying to see my extended family was just another trip. This time, it was full of many reminders of what we had all missed out on.
Illustration by Nicole Rifkin