In 2009 Sonya Voumard read about a legal claim brought by Martin Bryant's mother, Carleen, against journalists Robert Wainwright and Paola Totaro, accusing them of using her personal manuscript, letters, and family photos without her permission in their book Born or Bred? Martin Bryant: The Making of a Mass Murderer. Struck by the complex ethics of the case, Voumard found herself, in the words of American writer Janet Malcolm, afflicted by 'the familiar stirrings of reportorial desire'. She started to research the journalism, ethics, and storytelling surrounding the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, focusing on the media's treatment of Carleen Bryant.
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