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The News Process, 2012

Random acts of violence beget "random acts of journalism."

Posted on August 24, 2012, at 10:28 a.m. ET

This Instagrammed photo (blurred due to graphic content) allegedly of a victim of today's Empire State Building shooting, was online for less than an hour before the two biggest newswires in the world, along with a national newspaper and a network television station, had asked to acquire rights to it. Photographer appears to be cooperating.

It's an age-old process made staggeringly efficient — Reddit and Twitter and Instagram, once more, are the go-to places for eyewitness accounts. (And, as is always the case, the veracity of the reports ranges from apparently true to obviously and flagrantly false. Update: or maybe not.)

The graphic photo is here.

UPDATE: Another one, from a different photographer and of a different victim. The juxtaposition of the comments is really something:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.