Post #3: Evaluation of Credibility (Revised)
The National Geographic article, “4 Key Impacts of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines” was written by Heather Brady on January 25, 2017. In short, the article an informational piece that demonstrates how exactly the Keystone XL and North Dakota Access pipelines will effect the environment and the economy. It should be noted that Brady’s post is strictly factual and that this article contains no form of personal opinion. The article itself is divided into four different subheadings labeled, “HOW THE PIPELINES MAY EFFECT ANIMALS,” “HOW THE PIPELINES MAY IMPACT OIL PRODUCTION,” “WHAT THE PIPELINES MEAN FOR CLIMATE,” and “HOW THE PIPELINES WILL IMPACT PEOPLE.” The main purpose of the article is to inform the reader a little bit more about these two pipelines and explain information that may not be common knowledge to the public. Brady supports the facts she uses by hyperlinking the reader to different National Geographic web articles which not only further explain her claims, but also clear up any misconceptions a reader may have about a certain fact. All in all, Brady’s article is purely fact based and answers a wide range of question a person may have about the Keystone XL and North Dakota Access pipelines.
Although the National Geographic website itself can be wishy washy in terms of where it finds its facts, “4 Key Impacts of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines” is credible because the author is a professional journalist, she makes use of hyperlinks to further her research and the article is strictly fact based, which helps establish this piece overall, reliable and trustworthy.
The National Geographic website is part of the National Geographic Society, mainly takes interest in the natural and specifically focuses on world culture and life science. Every online NG article is written by one of their many authors who, unfortunately, have no biography page. This means that further research is required if one wishes to know more about a certain author. In this case, Heather Brady.
Looking online, Brady was easy to find by simply typing her name into google and the first result that comes up is her profile on Georgetown University’s Journalism Alumni page. There it establishes her as a respected journalist and student. Brady graduated Georgetown with a bachelors degree in 2011 and received her graduate degree in Journalism in 2013. Before becoming a digital editorial specialist/Web Producer at National Geographic Magazine in Washington, DC, Brady worked for Slate.com and NPR. Regarding her work at NG, according to Brady, she is “helping to develop the tone and voice of National Geographic Travel’s social media accounts, working on editorial quality assurance for the iPhone version of the monthly magazine, and copy editing/double-checking the Intelligent Travel blog posts when they go live on Nat Geo’s website.” She also has her own webpage, https://heatherlynnbrady.com/ where you can read more about her, find her contact information and view her current work. Looking over her impressive resume, you can find information about all her previous jobs, review the job description for her current position at NG and see the eight awards she has won for her student work.
The National Geographic Society has been around for almost 130 years and since then, has spawned into a world renowned magazine, television channel, digital products and other media such as the official websites managed by National Geographic partners. The website itself tries very hard to stay away from personal bias and this article is no exception. Brady has formed her article into a strictly informational piece and makes no use of personal pronouns or input of personal opinion. She only states facts and uses statistics, backed up with hyperlinks and images. As for relevance, Brady includes only current articles that are at most four years old. This helps establish trustworthiness as all information is mainly kept up to date and leaves little room for factual error on Brady’s part.
One issue present in almost all National Geographic articles, is that there is no works cited page in any article. This makes it very difficult to pinpoint if a fact claimed by an author is true or not.
However, after fact checking Brady, I did not find one false fact she presented. For example, under the “HOW THE PIPELINES WILL IMPACT PEOPLE” subheading, Brady talked about the jobs the pipelines would create, claiming that the “Keystone XL pipeline would create 42,100 jobs over the…pipeline’s construction and would create 50 permanent jobs. The Dakota Access pipeline would create up to 12,000 jobs during construction and 40 permanent jobs after.” This fact is not only backed up by a hyperlink to another NG article, “3 Factors Shape Obama’s Decision on Keystone XL Pipeline,” I also found two New York Times Articles that support these statistics (“On Pipelines, Donald Trump Looks Backward” and “Keystone XL Pipeline: A New Opening, but What Lies Ahead?”). Both NG and The New York Times agree that although the jobs created from the pipeline will be large, the permanent jobs created will be small for both pipelines. All other facts Brady claims are backed up through the use of hyperlinks to other NG articles and can be confirmed with a quick google search if one is not convinced.
As mentioned earlier, Brady incorporates a lot of hyperlinks into her article which not only supports the facts she asserts but also gives reference to statements made from major organizations. For example, she summarizes the State Department’s 2014 assessment of the Keystone XL’s effects on the environment and then links you the 44-page executive summary, which goes into depth of the report if you want to check it for yourself.
Overall, this article is credible given it’s use of facts/hyperlinks and credibility of the author. Heather Brady truly is passionate about her work and has the experience to prove she’s a reliable author. All the facts present are supported by hyperlinks to other NG articles and if googled, will be confirmed by other news sources such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. Given all of this, there is no reason why this article isn’t reliable. All claims made about the environmental and economic effects of the Keystone XL and North Dakota Access Pipeline are true and “4 Key Impacts of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines” is a great article if you are interested in finding out more about what is possibly to come.
Brady, Heather. “4 Impacts of the Keystone XL and North Dakota Acess Pipelines.” National Geographic , 25 Jan. 2017. Accessed 6 Mar. 2017.
Georgetown University , scs.georgetown.edu/about-scs/news-and-events/article/4922/journalism-alumna-profile-heather-brady. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.
Heather Lynn Brady, https://heatherlynnbrady.com/resume/. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017.
National Geographic, www.nationalgeographic.org/about-us/. Accessed 28 Mar. 2017.
https://keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/documents/organization/221135.pdf. Accessed 20 Mar. 2017
McKibben, Bill. “On Pipelines, Donald Trump Looks Backwards.” The New York Times, The New York Times. Accessed 24 Feb. 2017