We at ProPublica often tell stories about vulnerable people who have been failed by powerful individuals and institutions. Through our visual journalism, we aim to help our readers connect with and contextualize these stories.
Over the last year, we’ve investigated racial disparities in policing and health care, the mishandling of sexual assault cases, regulatory failures with deadly consequences, a broken food safety system, tech companies prioritizing profits over people’s privacy and the ways in which our tax code contributes to extreme wealth inequality, among other subjects.
This work has been done in the second year of a pandemic, so it has been of paramount importance to conceive visual storytelling approaches that ensured our subjects, staff members and freelance journalists both were and felt safe. The circumstances of our reporting were central in shaping the eventual visual expression.
We hope in these images you see not only abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust but also the resilience and resolve of the people who have shared their stories with us.Dominic Bodden for “They Were the Pandemic’s Perfect Victims” The Climate Crisis Is Worse Than You Can Imagine. Here’s What Happens If You Try.” Kathleen Flynn for “Entergy Resisted Upgrading New Orleans’ Power Grid. When Ida Hit, Residents Paid the Price.” Jon Han for “The Climate Solution Actually Adding Millions of Tons of CO2 Into the Atmosphere” ProPublica staff for “What Parler Saw During the Attack on the Capitol” The Celebrity-Backed Green ‘Fintech’ Company That Isn’t as Green as It Seems” Nicolas Ortega for “How Facebook Undermines Privacy Protections for Its 2 Billion WhatsApp Users” Rashod Taylor for “Conservationists See Rare Nature Sanctuaries. Black Farmers See a Legacy Bought Out From Under Them.” Rashod Taylor for “Conservationists See Rare Nature Sanctuaries. Black Farmers See a Legacy Bought Out From Under Them.” Alex Bandoni for “McKinsey Never Told the FDA It Was Working for Opioid Makers While Also Working for the Agency” “‘If Everybody’s White, There Can’t Be Any Racial Bias’: The Disappearance of Hispanic Drivers From Traffic Records” Christopher Gregory-Rivera for “Immigration Prosecutors Were Told Not to Push for Deportation in Cases Like His. He Was Ordered Deported the Next Day.” Vanessa Saba for “The Murder Chicago Didn’t Want to Solve” Mike McQuade for “The Great Inheritors: How Three Families Shielded Their Fortunes From Taxes for Generations” Alex Garcia for “A Crisis of Undiagnosed Cancers Is Emerging in the Pandemic’s Second Year” False Barriers: These Things Should Not Prevent You From Getting a COVID Vaccine” Bethany Mollenkof for “In a California Desert, Sheriff’s Deputies Settle Schoolyard Disputes. Black Teens Bear the Brunt.” Dominic Bodden for “‘God’s Will Is Being Thwarted.’ Even in Solid Republican Counties, Hard-Liners Seek More Partisan Control of Elections.” Mauricio Rodríguez Pons for “Postcard From Thermal: Surviving the Climate Gap in Eastern Coachella Valley” A Banking App Has Been Suddenly Closing Accounts, Sometimes Not Returning Customers’ Money” Jack Taylor for “The Government Gave Free PPP Money to Public Companies Despite Warning Them Not to Apply” Lisa Larson-Walker for “The Secret IRS Files” Lisa Larson-Walker for “The Secret IRS Files” Agnes Chang for “Lord of the Roths: How Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned a Retirement Account for the Middle Class Into a $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank” Black Snow” Thousands of Patients Were Implanted With Heart Pumps That the FDA Knew Could Be Dangerous” Brian Adams for “Searching for Solutions to Alaska’s High Rate of Deadly Air Crashes” Ben Hickey for “The ProPublica Free Tax Guide” Cydni Elledge for “Held Back: Inside a Lost School Year” Daniel Fishel for “Why Opening Restaurants Is Exactly What the Coronavirus Wants Us to Do” “A Postal Worker Begged for Stronger COVID-19 Protections. She Ended Up Spending Six Weeks in the Hospital.” “A Tiny Number of People Will Be Hospitalized Despite Being Vaccinated. We Have to Learn Why.” Samantha Cabrera Friend for “‘In Those Pictures, You Can See the Community’” Glenn Harvey for “Facebook Grew Marketplace to 1 Billion Users. Now Scammers Are Using It to Target People Around the World.” The Broken Front Line” Mark Pernice for “Thousands of Patients Were Implanted With Heart Pumps That the FDA Knew Could Be Dangerous” William Widmer for “Storm Drains Keep Swallowing People During Floods” Poison in the Air” The Most Detailed Map of Cancer-Causing Industrial Air Pollution in the U.S.” Laila Milevski for “Can Air Pollution Cause Cancer? What You Need to Know About the Risks.” Celeste Sloman for “The Lost Year: What the Pandemic Cost Teenagers” Celeste Sloman for “The Lost Year: What the Pandemic Cost Teenagers” Leland Foster for “Texas Enabled the Worst Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Catastrophe in Recent U.S. History” Even on U.S. Campuses, China Cracks Down on Students Who Speak Out” Cath Virginia for “How Unemployment Insurance Fraud Exploded During the Pandemic” Mauricio Rodríguez Pons and Nadia Sussman for “Buy, Borrow, Die: How America's Ultrawealthy Stay That Way” Babies Are Dying of Syphilis. It’s 100% Preventable.” Charlotte Ager for “Birth Rights” Charlotte Ager for “Birth Rights” Brittany Greeson for “Get This Thing Out of My Chest” Ola Jasionowska for “New Records Show the NYPD’s Favored Punishment: Less Vacation Time” Matt Williams for “When Falling Behind on Rent Leads to Jail Time” Leland Foster for “St. Jude Hoards Billions While Many of Its Families Drain Their Savings” These Single Moms Are Forced to Choose: Reveal Their Sexual Histories or Forfeit Welfare” Richard A Chance for “Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places” Juan Bernabeu for “America’s Drinking Water Is Surprisingly Easy to Poison” Hannah Price/Magnum Photos for “What Philadelphia Reveals About America’s Homicide Surge” ‘Who Is This Monster?’” “‘You Save as Long as You Have To’” “‘This Is How You Get Your Power Back’” Kathleen Flynn for “He Was Filming on His Phone. Then a Deputy Attacked Him and Charged Him With Resisting Arrest.” Laila Milevski for “‘Half of the Family Just Disappeared Overnight’” Sarah Blesener for “‘The Liberty Way’: How Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students’ Reports of Sexual Assaults” Sarah Blesener for “‘The Liberty Way’: How Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students’ Reports of Sexual Assaults” Anonymous illustrator for “Operation Fox Hunt: How China Exports Repression Using a Network of Spies Hidden in Plain Sight” St. Jude Hoards Billions While Many of Its Families Drain Their Savings” Alicia Tatone for “Eugene Clemons May Be Ineligible for the Death Penalty. A Rigid Clinton-Era Law Could Force Him to Be Executed Anyway.” Daniel Stolle for “Inspecting the NYPD ‘Puzzle Palace’” Kathleen Flynn for “‘They Saw Me and Thought the Worst’” Sam Alden for “Dying on the Waitlist” Stacy Kranitz for “Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.” Stacy Kranitz for “Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.” Anuj Shrestha for “Oath Keepers in the State House: How a Militia Movement Took Root in the Republican Mainstream” Justin Metz for “America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.” Ash Ngu and Andrea Suozzo for “Chicken Checker” Mason Trinca for “America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.”
Each of these images represents many hours of careful collaboration between teams, and we want to especially thank our freelance visual journalists for helping us bring these stories to life.
With gratitude,Visuals Team
- Lisa Larson-Walker, Art Director
- Jillian Kumagai, Visuals Editor
- Andrea Wise, Visuals Editor
- Alex Bandoni, Temporary Visuals Editor
- Laila Milevski, Scripps Howard Illustrator and Visual Journalism Fellow
- Ken Schwencke, Editor
- Al Shaw, Deputy Editor
- Lena Groeger, Deputy Editor
- Lylla Younes, News Apps Developer
- Ash Ngu, News Apps Developer
- Andrea Suozzo, News Apps Developer
- Ruth Talbot, News Apps Developer
- Lucas Waldron, Visual Investigations Producer
- Almudena Toral, Executive Producer
- Nadia Sussman, Video Journalist
- Katie Campbell, Video Journalist
- Mauricio Rodríguez Pons, Video Journalist
- Joseph Singer, Video Editor
- David Sleight, Design Director
- Allen Tan, Editorial Experience Designer
- Rob Weychert, Editorial Experience Designer
- Mike Tigas, Editorial Systems Engineer
- Frank Sharpe, Senior Product Developer
- Jaya Subrahmanyan, Product Developer