"On Wikipedia Nobody Knows You’re an Idiot"

I’m still committed to posting two entries a week, at about noon on Wednesday and Sunday. (I may go to one a week when the fall semester starts.) Eating lunch, I realized I didn’t have an entry ready for today, and no topic sprang to mind easily; so, here’s a brief comment on a topic that lots of us think about.
How does the hardy web-surfer know which site is reliable and which is pure hokum? There’s problem a spectrum from completely reliable to utter hokum, but how does one know where a particular web page lies on the spectrum?
I’m not sure I can answer my own question, so if you have ideas about reliable web sites or techniques that can help rate them, please share them in a comment. I promise to post comments that address the issue without flaming or obnoxious language.
I used "Wikipedia" in the title for this post because that’s the site many first think of. I was visiting a freshman composition class that was discussing research. When the teacher asked where students would look for information, the first thing several said was "Wikipedia." I use Wikipedia myself; I’ve found it a useful source of information I want students to have. But when I use it that way, I know something about the topic and (hope) I would recognize hokum.
What if you don’t know anything about a topic you need to research? Consult several sources — even printed books and journals. Talk to someone who is knowledgeable. It takes some effort to learn something.
But suppose I hear a story on the news that piques my interest; I don’t want to do a lot of research to discover whether the assertion I heard is reliable or hokum. As the presidential campaign season begins, there are a number of questionable statements. How can I sort them out? Does anyone have an idea?