All information is not created equal! Here are some tools for evaluating what you find:
SOURCE: Where does the article come from? Is it a reputable outlet?
MOTIVE: Is there a special interest or point of view that could cause the authors to tailor the presentation of their information to fit a certain narrative?
AUTHORITY: What are the author's credentials? Who are they talking to?
REVIEW: Does the article make sense? Is it logically consistent? Are there any notable errors or leaps in the argument?
TWO-SOURCE TEST: Are other outlets reporting the same story? Are the facts consistent?
Stop! Do you trust this source of information?
Investigate the source. What is the source's reputation? Can you find information about the author or outlet from outside sources? What does that information tell you about potential sources of bias?
Find better coverage. Is this story covered elsewhere? Do alternate sources corroborate or contradict?
Trace. Check the date and see if you can trace the story back to where it was first reported. How has it changed? Is there additional context for any images used? Are quotes consistent?
Who is the author? (Authority)
What is the purpose of this content? (Accuracy)
When was the item written or published? (Currency)
Where does this content come from? (Publisher)
Why does this item exist? (Purpose & Objectivity)
For more, check out "Understanding the Fake News Universe" from Media Matters.
Content that is entirely false but designed to look factual on a site designed to look like a real news outlet.
See Also, Disinformation: False or misleading information spread with the deliberate intention to deceive, especially propaganda issued by a government to a rival power or to the media.
Ask yourself: What does the URL end with (.com, .edu, .co, .horse)? How professional is the website design? Are other outlets covering the story?
Resources: PolitiFact Guide to Fake News, DailyDot List of Sites to Watch Out For
A fact, event, or quote taken out of context or reframed in order to serve an agenda.
Ask yourself: Is this an old quote or image that's been repurposed? Where do images, quotes, etc come from and do those sources line up with how those elements are used in the article?
Resources: Media Bias/Fact Check
Shocking or teasing headlines designed to drive engagement for ad revenue and reach.
Ask yourself: Is the headline informative or is it sensational/provocative? Does the website look reputable? Does the content match the headline?
Play the role of a fake news-monger. Bad News was nominated for the 2018 Beazley Designs of the Year Award. It is targeted at users age 15+.
Headlines draw readers into stories. Watch for what emotions they emphasize and whether you can tell from the get-go that the writer approves or disapproves of the facts of the story.
Editors choose whether or not to run a story and within those stories watch for how facts are framed. The best way to surface this kind of bias is to compare news coverage.
In particular, watch for how names and titles are used. What descriptors are used? Are people framed in the context of their worst or best attributes? What does that framing do to your opinion as you read? What are the connotations of the words used?
Where a story is placed influences perceived importance. Knowing that newspapers run stories they think are the most important toward the font and that broadcast news runs stories they anticipate drawing better ratings toward the top can help you understand biases that might lurk beyond the content of the stories.
Angles and captions can also be a source of design bias. Ask yourself if the literal framing of the story is designed to elicit a particular reader response.