Evaluation of Credibility


Credibility is one of the most important aspects of conducting research. So when asked to questioning credibility I chose my favorite news outlet, Vice.com. In an article published in Vice News titled, “Up in Smoke: The election wrecked America’s underground weed economy” written by Keegan Hamilton in November of 2016, Hamilton interviews a local emerald triangle cannabis grower, nicknamed “Trip” for confidentiality, on how the recent marijuana legalization has effected his local marijuana business. In the article Hamilton provides a plethora of information, that even though was given to him by different interviewees, he makes alot of accurate statements that can be backed up and supported by facts.


According to Hamilton, traditional marijuana supply networks driven by black market growers in Northern California are about to be disrupted by competition from legalized marijuana businesses. In an interview, Hamilton learns that growers like Trip provide as much as 70% of marijuana smoked across the country; however, the passing of prop. 64 has increased the supply and driven down the average cost per pound $1,600, compared to a over $2,000 at the start of the year (Hamilton). Nevertheless, the shift will cause 30 to 40 percent of growers to find a new job and the growers who currently supply California medical dispensaries will be forced into the black market without regulatory accommodations; forcing growers like Trip will have to adapt or go extinct.

At first I never really questioned the credibility of Vice; I guess I just always trusted them because they have been prevalent in my years growing up, but now I am learning to not just trust a source based off their name. In the past couple decades, Vice has become a very popular news outlet and has gained some respect, mostly among the more youthful community, but they still have a long way to go to be considered a serious contender against major news platforms such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.


First, I did a background check on the author, Keegan Hamilton, a US Editor for Vice News who produces stories covering drugs, crime, prisons, and immigration problems in America. However, before taking the job for Vice news, he studied journalism and comparative literature at the University of Washington and then began his career as a reporter for Seattle Weekly and The Riverfront Times in St. Louis before moving on to bigger outlets such as: The Atlantic, BuzzFeed News, The Village Voice, and The Guardian.


Secondly, I did some research on Vice as company, and to my surprise, they started as a foreign news company, originating in Montreal Canada. According to wikipedia, it wasn’t until 2001, where they relocated to New York City. From there, they established a range of different online and offline properties such as Vice News, Vice Sports, Vice Media, and Viceland.

In Hamiltons Article, he attributes his states to over five different sources, some including the SF Chronicle, Ballotpedia, Alternate, and Capital & Gain, which are very reputible sources in the economical sphere. Even though Keegan Hamilton provides most of his information either relayed to him by different interviewees or from other credited sources, he still offers a credible thought processes that can be supported up by truth.

Hamilton, Keegan. “The election wrecked America’s underground weed economy.” VICE News, VICE, 9 Nov. 2016, news.vice.com/story/the-election-wrecked-americas-underground-weed-economy.

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