Mashable interviewed Instagram user @mr_mookie--his real name is Muhammad Malik -- just hours after Malik posted the widely circulated graphic image of a bleeding victim of Friday's shooting outside the Empire State Building.
“I’ve driven by dead bodies, seen my friends killed in the street, family members,” Malik told Mashable's Sam Laird. “It’s New York City. I’m not sure where you’re calling from, but this is every day.”
Malik's semi-controversial photo, which was picked up by mainstream media outlets, highlights the ongoing relevance of social media in covering breaking news events--in which on-the-ground spectators can sometimes communicate information before professional reporters can.
Reddit played a similarly crucial journalistic role in the aftermath of last month's Colorado theater shooting, when user Peener13 began a thread titled "Someone came into our theater at the midnight release of Dark Knight Rises and began opening fire. Who here on Reddit can help me calm my nerves?"
You can read the full story over at Mashable.com.