Carol Middleton reviews 'The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016' by Sonya Voumard

Carol Middleton reviews 'The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016' by Sonya Voumard

The Media and the Massacre, Port Arthur 1996-2016

by Sonya Voumard

Transit Lounge $29.95 pb, 224 pp, 9780994395719

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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Carol Middleton

Carol Middleton

Carol Middleton is a journalist, arts critic and author, based in Melbourne. Her short story awards include second place in The Age competition 2010. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the anthologies Melbourne Subjective, Ink3 and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. She is working on a memoir in essays. Her work can be seen at http://carolmiddleton.com.au

Published in April 2016, no. 380

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