Looking Back at 2021, news
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Here is a look back at some of our most interesting work from a momentous year.

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Over the past week, we presented you with some of the highlights of our election integrity, government integrity, and environmental coverage. We also picked some of our favorite podcasts, editorials, and cartoons. 

Now that the new year is about to begin, we are offering one final list of articles that reflects some of the other work that WhoWhatWhy did in 2021. As you peruse it, please give yourself a pat on the back because none of this would have been possible without your support. 

Indigenous Women Engage Feds to Combat Violence in Alaska

Alaska’s Native communities, hit hard by violence against women, are working to get the federal government to go beyond just propping up local law enforcement.

Alexei Navalny: From Fringe Nationalist to Media Mogul

Most Russians aren’t moved by opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s politics — it’s his information they want.

Ayotzinapa case, Protest

Protesters hold posters with images of the missing Ayotzinapa students. Photo credit: Courtesy of Arturo Conde

The Growing Power of the Mexican Military

Families push for the US and Mexican presidents to stop turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in Mexico.

Latinx Authors Find the Bookshelves Blocked

Latinx voices have been largely unheard in the publishing industry.

Donald Trump, H.R. McMaster

President Donald Trump and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster walked to board Marine One departing from the White House en route to Miami to announce his Cuba policy, in Washington, DC, on June 16, 2017. Photo credit: © Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

Uncovered: Israeli Angle to ‘Deep State’ Plot

We dug deep and found a common thread omitted from a New York Times report on a plot against Trump adviser H.R. McMaster: a belief he was not sufficiently pro-Israel.

Strawberry Creek, Berkley

The water flowing in Strawberry Creek in the San Bernardino Mountains, is controlled by a New York private equity firm. Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Wall Street Is Thirsting for Your Water

Clean water is a human right. It is also an investment for the capital class, which is buying water rights in the West.

demonstrator, waves flag, Beirut, Lebanon

A demonstrator waves the Lebanese flag as protesters attempt to move toward the parliamentary building in Beirut, Lebanon, August 4, 2021. Photo credit: Hunter Williamson / WhoWhatWhy

Grief and Outrage Spark Beirut Protests

Police greet demonstrators with tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets on the anniversary of the gigantic blast that shook Beirut and for which no one has been held responsible.

Sirhan Sirhan, mugshots

Photo credit: California State Archives

Sirhan May Go Free — But Truth on the Kennedy Assassinations Remains Locked Up

The discussion of Sirhan Sirhan’s possible release elides important questions about a deeply flawed investigation into the murder of Robert F. Kennedy. 

Russian Navy, Opuk, amphibious landing

The Russian Navy demonstrates capabilities during an amphibious landing exercise at the Opuk training area on Crimea’s Black Sea coast on September, 21, 2019. © Sergei Malgavko/TASS via ZUMA Press

Why Does the Kremlin Keep Purging Crimea’s Muslims?

Crimean Tatars, a Muslim minority that once dominated the Black Sea peninsula but have been persecuted by Russia for centuries, are being purged by the Kremlin following a strategy used in Chechnya.

James M. Williams, Gathering

“Gathering” Photo credit: Courtesy of James M. Williams

Celebrating Creativity: Mysteries in Charcoal by James Williams

Join this artist as he takes a deep dive into the dark recesses of his mind, where he creates images out of ashes.


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