The Media and the Massacre

By Sonya Voumard Transit Lounge


Sonya Voumard

Judges' report


Twenty years after the Port Arthur shootings, Sonya Voumard returns to this catastrophe and the way it was reported. A journalist herself, Voumard takes the reader through what it is like on the ground, and the decisions that are involved, in reporting from a major event as it unfolds; she also focuses her attentive eye on the relationship between Carleen Bryant, the mother of the murderer, and the two journalists who used her personal manuscript in a bestselling book about the perpetrator, an action that would result in a legal settlement. The Media and the Massacre interrogates both the practice of journalism and the effects on those who are the focus of journalistic attention. It is a searching inquiry into the ownership of stories that also charts significant changes in newspapers and the journalistic profession over the last decade. It’s both a compelling story and a humane and scrupulous investigation into the responsibilities of journalists.

Further reading


Reviews

‘[Voumard ]is frank and exhaustive in the search for answers, openly grappling with the temptation to delve deeper and the risk of re-traumatising her subjects… Voumard interviews a wide network of people, and intersperses extracts from the public record with her own experiences as she revisits landmarks and reflects on the trauma of the massacre. The result is a compelling and engaging book that speculates on the role of the journalist and more widely on the industry itself, raising questions that linger in the mind of the reader.’ Anaya Latter, Readings

‘A  fascinating case study in media betrayal… An intelligent reflection on the two faces of journalism: a noble pursuit of truth and an exploitation of individual rights.’ Carol Middleton, Australian Book Review 

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