Consider the source
Click away from the story to learn more about the website, including its stated mission and contact information. For a picture, try a reverse image search to find out where it was originally used, and whether it has been altered.
Beware of outrageous headlines, statements in ALL CAPS, and sensational images designed to get clicks. Read the full story and then investigate further.
Check the author
Do a quick search on the author to find out if they are credible (or even a real person). What is the person's background? What qualifications do they have, and how are they related to the topic they are writing about?
Check to make sure the links support the story -- and are credible.
Check the date
Is this an old story?
Is it a joke?
If the image looks unbelievable or the news sounds too outrageous, it may be satire. Research the site and the author to check.
Check your biases
Consider whether your own beliefs might affect your judgement.
Ask the experts
Ask a librarian, or visit a fact-checking site.