Illustrations can be powerful, but I think they need to be used carefully. In an entertainment magazine they fit in well, but in a news publication, they can come across as tacky. In order for illustrations to work in a professional or sophisticated context, they need to be created with care. Some of my favorite examples from the text were the more subtle illustrations, like the “television addict” image by Peter Haley. My least favorite were the obvious illustrations, like the moon pie image by Jerry Wolfort. (Although, in the context of advertising, images like this make more sense.)
Overall, when used properly, I think illustrations are a powerful tool that can catch the reader’s eye and even clue them in on some of the article’s key points ahead of time.