Columbia University's Tow Center for Digital Journalism has examined user-generated content and draw some interesting conclusions. Among them: news agencies are the source of a lot of such content, news organizations don't credit UGC terribly well, and such content can generate a lot of content that organizations wouldn't typically produce. There is "vicarious trauma" among those who work with UGC at media outlets and there is a fear among organizations that a legal case might seriously affect the use of UGC in future.
The shooter last week at a Californian university left a 141-page note that described his disillusionment and set the stage for his violence. News organizations are all too accustomed now to dealing with derangement, so there is some effort to think through the handling of the clues that led to the tragedies. In some cases, media de-emphasize names and backgrounds so as not to lend authority or glory to the killers. Poynter's Kelly McBride writes about the need to publish the tract but to add ontext and expertise to help understand what compelled him to kill, while Margaret Sullivan writes as the public editor of The New York Times that it is worth considering playing down the killer's manifesto. While it is necessary to identify him, it is not necessary to give him a platform, she writes.
Carina Kolodny, writing for Huffington Post, identifies 14 great Google Search tricks that are of benefit to journalists researching and creating. Whether it's getting a quotation right, a definition, a story from an archive, or a search within a website, she identifies the tricks of search.