I suppose it's something that's not discussed too much in earnest, but media coverage does cause repeat actions in those unbalanced people looking for their moment of fame. It's probably even worse in this era of 24 hour cable news, with networks looking for anything to cover. The problem is I am not sure what should be done about it. I certainly don't advocate suppression of the press.
I think it definitely does. Otherwise why would these mass killings keep getting worse and worse? There are psychological aspects to look at with these killers and one big thing that needs to be focused on even more in these psychopaths is their need for attention. It may just foreshadow future events and it could save lives.
No one of sound mind has ever or would ever commit one of the highest crimes imaginable in order to achieve fame. I'm not sure that all of those who go after fame on American Idol are sane, much less killers. It's true that there may be killers who "have a message," and may want to use the media to get it out, but this doesn't require murder. I must conclude that the desire to kill is ultimately more primary than whatever the message may be. The desire to kill is also more important than whether or not it's been done before, and certainly whether or not the person in question gets to be in the news cycle for a week or so. These random shootings are not simply the works of people seeking fame. There's a more profound sickness at work.
If it were the case that fame were the prime motivator for the mass killings we are being confronted with on a weekly basis, we would see fewer of the killers taking their own lives. What is the point in being famous if you're not alive to enjoy it? While it may be true that the killer is motivated in some way to have as much impact as possible (and maybe even more impact than the last killing), that impact is most likely motivated by some other cause and not directly related to the media coverage that follows their actions. The media coverage itself is not to blame. If there was someone killing people in schools or shopping malls, wouldn't you want to know about it?