Australian Press Council upholds complaint over implied direct rebuttal

Australian Press Council upholds complaint over implied direct rebuttal

Adjudication 1672: Wade Laube/The Australian

22 Jul 2016

The Press Council considered a complaint by Wade Laube, on behalf of Senator Sean Edwards, about an article published by The Australian on 13 March 2015. The article was headed “Nukes never free, senator told” in print and “Nuclear energy never free, senator Sean Edwards told” online. It followed an announcement by the Senator on 12 March that urged governments to investigate the importation and recycling of spent nuclear fuel.

The article referred to comments made following the Senator’s announcement by a former chairman of Britain’s Office for Nuclear Development, Dr Tim Stone, who was in Adelaide addressing a nuclear energy forum. The article said Dr Stone had “questioned claims” by the Senator and had said that nuclear energy was “no free lunch” and “[e]nergy is never free”.

The complainant said the article and headline implied that Dr Stone was directly rebutting the Senator’s proposed nuclear energy plan, when in fact Dr Stone made clear he had not seen the Senator’s proposal and his remarks were general.

The complainant said the article inaccurately reported that Senator Edwards claimed his “plan to use spent fuel rods to generate nuclear power would revive South Australia’s ailing economy within five years” and that he was “promising it would lead to free power and the abolition of $4.4 billion in state taxes”. The complainant said the Senator had in fact told the publication there was “a scale of possibilities” and a five-year time frame was never mentioned. The complainant said the article was also inaccurate in implying that the Senator had said nuclear power would be free because the Senator had identified in the business model where and by whom the costs would actually be borne.

The complainant said the Senator should have been given an opportunity to respond to comments in the article that “Labor Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said Senator Edwards was becoming increasingly worried about his upcoming preselection”, as this unfairly implied the proposal was motivated by the Senator’s personal interest in re-election.

The complainant also said he had sought a correction by the publication to clarify that Dr Stone had not seen the proposal and was not questioning it and that the proposal had a funding model. The complainant said that prior to publication of the article, The Australian had agreed to publish an opinion piece by the Senator and it was not reasonable to require him to use that opportunity to correct the factual inaccuracy, when it should be the responsibility of the publication.

The publication, in the initial part of the Council’s complaint process, said that it was inconceivable that Dr Stone had not seen the Senator’s comments and in any event the Senator could have used the opinion piece published after the article to raise his concerns. It also noted that it had published a follow-up article, headed “Nuclear path ‘leads to riches’”, which reported on a speech the Senator was to make about his proposal.

However at a late stage of the Council’s process, after reviewing its records, the publication accepted Dr Stone had not seen the Senator’s proposals and that the article inaccurately implied Dr Stone was commenting on the proposal. It published a clarification, including an apology, to this effect and said that this was adequate redress.

The publication said it was an accurate summary of the Senator’s proposal – which had been covered broadly in the media in the day before the article – to say that it could revive South Australia’s economy within five years, that power could be free and that state taxes of $4.4 billion could be replaced, and it had no obligation to cover every detail of the proposal. It was also consistent with subsequent comments by the Senator and the reporting of them.

The publication also said Mr Koutsantonis’ comments were a small part of the article and would be regarded by readers as a comment made for political purposes.


The Council’s Standards of Practice require reasonable steps to ensure that factual material is accurate and not misleading (General Principle 1), is reasonably fair and balanced (General Principle 3), that a correction or other adequate remedial action is provided if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading (General Principle 2) and that a fair opportunity is provided for a published reply if reasonably necessary (General Principle 4).

The Council considers that the publication failed to take reasonable steps to ensure accuracy and fairness and balance in reporting that Dr Stone had directly questioned the Senator’s proposal and that Dr Stone rejected a claim made by the Senator that energy could be free when Dr Stone had not done so. Consequently, the publication breached General Principles 1 and 3 of the Council’s Standards of Practice, and its later correction did not obviate the breach. Accordingly, the complaint in these respects is upheld.

The Council considers reporting that the Senator claimed his “plan to use spent fuel rods to generate nuclear power would revive South Australia’s ailing economy within five years” and that he was “promising it would lead to free power and the abolition of $4.4 billion in state taxes” was open to a range of reasonable interpretations. In addition, on the material available to the Council, it is unable to form a final view about the communications between the complainant and the newspaper prior to publication. Accordingly, it is unable to determine whether or not reasonable steps were taken to ensure accuracy, fairness and balance in relation to this part of the reporting.

The Council considers that the Labor Treasurer’s comments could reasonably be regarded as a political comment and were not given prominence, and so finds no breach of General Principle 3 of its Standards of Practice in this respect.

While the Council acknowledges and gives credit for the publication’s later clarification about the reporting of Dr Stone’s comments, the Council considers it should have been published earlier. The Council concludes there was a breach of General Principles 2 and 4 of its Standards of Practice. Accordingly, this aspect of the complaint is also upheld.

Relevant Council Standards (not required for publication):

This adjudication applies the following General Principles of the Council.

“Publications must take reasonable steps to:

1: Ensure that factual material in news reports and elsewhere is accurate and not misleading, and is distinguishable from other material such as opinion.

2. Provide a correction or other adequate remedial action if published material is significantly inaccurate or misleading.

3. Ensure that factual material is presented with reasonable fairness and balance, and that writers’ expressions of opinion are not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.”

4. Ensure that where material refers adversely to a person, a fair opportunity is given for subsequent publication of a reply if that is reasonably necessary to address a possible breach of General Principle 3.”

Truth and accuracy are top complaints to Irish Press Council

(Credit: Press Council of Ireland)

Almost 50% of the 278 complaints to the Irish Press Council in 2015 were over truth and accuracy, Ireland’s press ombudsman revealed, according to the Irish Times. Nearly a quarter of complaints focused on privacy.

The ombudsman’s report was released in late May, noting the council’s ninth year in existence. “The critical functions of the Press Ombudsman’s Office and the Press Council is to offer an independent complaints handling service,” the statement from press ombudsman Peter Feeney says.

“I have been in office since September 2014, the term of office is for three years, but it can be renewed,” Feeney told iMediaEthics by e-mail.

On the council’s website, Feeney reminded journalists of the importance of protecting privacy and determining what is in the public interest.

“I would ask all editors and reporters to be aware of their considerable responsibility to protect children’s interests and to respect the privacy of individuals,” Feeney said. “Of course there is no absolute right to privacy, but privacy can only be breached if publication of something private is already on the public record or if its publication can be justified as in the public interest. I would ask all journalists to consider carefully what ‘in the public interest’ means and to not confuse the public being interested in something as necessarily the same as in the public interest.”

The top ten reasons people complained to the council in 2015 were:

  1. Truth and accuracy
  2. Privacy
  3. Distinguishing fact and comment
  4. Prejudice
  5. Fair procedures and honesty
  6. Court reporting
  7. Respect for rights
  8. Children
  9. Protection of source
  10. Publication of the decision of the press ombudsman/press council

The ombudsman decided 34 complaints, 18 were resolved, 3 were closed or withdrawn and in 79 complaints, the complainant dropped their complaint.

Hat Tip: Ethical Journalism Network

National NewsMedia Council is moving

The National NewsMedia Council office is moving. We will continue to share space with Newspapers Canada (CCNA and CNA), but effective July 1, 2016, our new office address will be:

National News Media Council
37 Front Street East, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario  M5E 1B3

Our telephone number remains unchanged:  416-340-1981 or 1-844-877-1163

Our email address is also unchanged.

Canada Post ordered to stop delivering controversial Your Ward News

By Emmett Shane, CBC News –

The federal government has ordered Canada Post to stop delivering Your Ward News, a low-budget, free newspaper that has offended homeowners in Toronto’s east end and beyond.

The newspaper, which is the brainchild of editor-in-chief James Sears, has been labelled anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi by several groups who have campaigned for years to get Canada Post to cease distributing it.

They got their wish Monday when the minister responsible for Canada Post, Judy Foote, issued what’s known as a prohibitory order against the future delivery of the paper.

A group called Standing Together Against Mailing Prejudice (STAMP) hailed the decision Monday in a news release.

“We are ecstatic about the minister’s decision,” said Lisa Kinsella, managing partner of The Daisy Group and one of the founding members of STAMP.

For too long, Your Ward News has been permitted to disseminate racism, homophobia, misogyny and anti-Semitism to as many as 300,000 homes (see site for the best painting services for your home) in Toronto. Minister Foote’s swift and decisive action means that this disgusting material will no longer be landing in the mailboxes of people who don’t want it.

Sears, who has presented himself in the past as pick-up artist Dmitri The Lover and had his licence to practise medicine revoked after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting patients, has also been accused of publishing articles in Your Ward News that demean women and insult the LGBT community.

Sears told CBC News Monday evening he will fight the order, calling it a “temporary inconvenience” that only affects the paper’s distribution to apartment buildings.

“We’ve done nothing illegal. There have been no criminal charges filed. It is an arbitrary decision,” Sears said, denying Your Ward News publishes hate speech.

“We’re just a satirical, offensive newspaper. It has been found multiple times by Canada Post lawyers that we’re not breaking any hate-speech laws.”

Sears accused Foote of issuing the order to silence criticism of the government.

“We’re the top paper that’s critical of the Liberal Party in all of Canada,” he said.

Sears does have an avenue of appeal. He has 10 days after the date of the notice to ask for a review panel, which would be appointed by the minister. He formally requested the panel Monday evening but says he believes the issue will have to go before “a real judge.”

“I expect [the review panel] to be a kangaroo court and once the kangaroo court reaffirms her illegal, unethical decision, then we can go in front of the real judge and have the real judge overturn it.”

But Kinsella, who spoke to CBC News Monday evening, said Your Ward News is nothing more than hate speech.

“It is not satirical, it is hate promotion and there is nothing satirical about that at all … This is not about free speech,” she said.

“It is the most disgusting, vile thing I’ve seen published.”

Court makes award in 2008 defamation case

Bill Graveland
Calgary — The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, Jun. 08, 2016 1:31PM EDT
Last updated Wednesday, Jun. 08, 2016 8:40PM EDT

Former television war correspondent Arthur Kent choked back tears Wednesday after winning an eight-year-old lawsuit against one of Canada’s largest media companies over a column that called him “Dud Scud.”

A judge ruled that Postmedia and its former columnist Don Martin defamed Kent while he was running for a seat in the Alberta legislature in 2008.

“I’m feeling a measure of vindication from the ruling,” Kent said outside court. “Truth still matters in journalism — and isn’t that good news. Truth, accuracy and balance matter on the Internet and … no genuine journalist will be anything but reassured and encouraged by this court decision.”

Justice Jo’Anne Strekaf ruled that the article “when read as a whole would cause right-thinking members of society to think less of Mr. Kent.”

She said the damage to Kent’s reputation was “exacerbated by the exaggerations and sarcastic tone in the article, by aspects of Mr. Martin’s conduct and by the unfairness to Mr. Kent from Mr. Martin’s failure to provide him with an opportunity to respond prior to publication of the article.”

“While the article did not accuse Mr. Kent of any illegal or immoral acts, it characterized him as an egotistical, politically naive, arrogant candidate whose campaign was in disarray,” she wrote.

She awarded Kent a total of $200,000 in damages from the defendants — $150,000 from Martin and Postmedia for the article and an additional $50,000 from Postmedia for continuing to publish the article online.

Martin referred calls to CTV, where he is now a host. CTV also declined to comment. Postmedia’s Phyllise Gelfand would only say the company is “reviewing the decision.”

Kent, who got the nickname “Scud Stud” while reporting for NBC during the Persian Gulf war, was a star candidate for the Alberta Progressive Conservatives during the 2008 campaign, but was on record as disagreeing with some party policies.

Martin’s column, which used unnamed sources, painted Kent as an out-of-control, egomaniac who had alienated party staff.

“Alberta Conservatives have bestowed problem candidate Arthur Kent with a less flattering designation as he noisily blusters his way through their reeling election campaign — the Dud Scud,” Martin wrote.

The Tories went on to win a majority in the election, but Kent lost his race.

The trial heard from Martin’s sources.

Lawyer Kristine Robidoux acknowledged that she sent Martin emails from Tory insiders complaining about Kent, but said she regretted doing that after seeing the article.

Party insider Alan Hallman testified he had no problem feeding Martin information, because he thought Kent had embarrassed the party.

The two central figures also testified.

Kent called the article a bomb that cratered his campaign and has since prevented him from pursuing other political opportunities.

Martin testified that, while the article may have run on news pages, it was clearly an opinion piece based on extensive research.

But under cross-examination, he acknowledged that the line about Progressive Conservatives calling Kent the “Dud Scud” had come from only one source, whose name he couldn’t remember.

“I’d write it differently today,” Martin said.

Martin testified that he left a voice message seeking Kent’s response before the article was published, but the final version had no comment from him.

Postmedia later refused to publish a rebuttal that Kent submitted.

World Press Freedom event examines Freedom of Information

UNESCO’s flagship celebration of World Press Freedom Day (3 May) will take place in Helsinki, Finland, this year from 2 to 4 May. The agency says the overarching theme of the celebration is Access to Information and Fundamental Freedoms. The event will focus on Freedom of Information and Sustainable Development, Protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach, and Ensuring safety of journalists online and offline.

In its news release, UNESCO says “freedom of information is a fundamental freedom and a human right, inherently bound up with the broader right to freedom of expression. It covers the right to seek and receive information, and it complements the right to impart information which is the freedom to make information public via the right to press freedom.

In its dual dimensions of freedom of information and press freedom, freedom of expression is a right of high significance for other rights, as well as for sustainable development. It contributes to the 2030 Development Agenda’s goal (SDG number 16) to: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. In this way, freedom of expression as a whole is vital to achieving SDG target 16.10: “Public access to information and fundamental freedoms”. This highlights the significance of UNESCO’s new International Day for Access to Information, to be marked each 28 September.

Freedom of information defines the degree of openness and transparency within a society. Any limitations on the access to information side of communications, impact on the imparting side, and vice versa. The two dimensions are essential for the full exercise of the right to free expression.

Freedom of information encompasses in the first instance the right to access information held by public bodies, which is conducive to participatory democracies, sustainable development, and good governance. It allows for public scrutiny, oversight, participation, and empowerment. Currently around 90 countries have adopted freedom of information legislation. A contemporary debate on the wider application of the right so as to gain access to public-interest information held by private sector bodies, for example information about carbon emissions which is vital for monitoring efforts to counter climate change.

Implementation of freedom of information raises issues such as whether the laws are well-known, in terms of high public awareness; whether requests are administered efficiently and whether there are high fees for the requester; and whether information is published by own initiative or released upon request. The gender disaggregation of information, and gender-sensitive application of freedom of information are also significant concerns.

Journalism has a major role to play in actualizing the right to information in the interests of the wider pubic. Another issue is that even in countries where there are freedom of information laws or legal provisions, journalists may have difficulty in accessing, understanding, and subsequently using the raw data or information. In order to make full use of the right to information, journalists need press freedom.”


Coverage violated broadcast codes, but prompt correction respected code requirements: CBSC

Ottawa, April 7, 2016 – The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) today released its decision concerning news reports broadcast on CTV Kitchener (CKCO-DT) about a female teacher who had been accused of inappropriate sexual comments towards a 16-year-old male student. The CBSC found that one report contained inaccurate information, but CTV Kitchener had quickly corrected the error and thus respected the requirements of the broadcast codes.

Two reports were broadcast on July 15, 2015 and provided updates on the teacher’s case. The report broadcast during the 6:00 pm newscast informed viewers that the charges had been dropped because there was not enough evidence to go to trial.  The report included information from a court document to which the accused and Crown had agreed, which included excerpts of comments made by the teacher to the student on social media.  The reporter also stated that the judge had ordered the teacher to resign.  CTV Kitchener covered the story again in its 11:30 pm newcast, but the reporter indicated that the teacher had resigned on her own.  The following day, during the July 16 6:00 pm newscast, the anchor acknowledged the error regarding the teacher’s resignation:  she had not been ordered to resign, but rather had done so of her own volition.

The complaint to the CBSC came from the teacher herself. She was concerned about the misinformation regarding her resignation which had been broadcast in the July 15 6:00 pm report.  She was not satisfied that the broadcast had given correct information in a subsequent newscast and had declared its error the following day, as she felt that CTV’s overall coverage of her case had been biased and sensationalized.

The CBSC English-Language Panel examined the complaint under the news provisions of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ (CAB) Code of Ethics and the Radio Television Digital News Association of Canada’s (RTDNA) Code of Ethics.  The Panel concluded that the information regarding the teacher’s resignation was inaccurate and therefore violated Clause 5 of the CAB Code and Article 1 of the RTDNA Code, but CTV Kitchener respected Article 7 of the RTNDA Code which requires errors be corrected quickly.  The Panel found no other problems with the station’s coverage, as it was a newsworthy story and all other details broadcast were factual.

The CBSC was created in 1990 by Canada’s private broadcasters to administer the codes of standards that they established for their industry. The CBSC currently administers 7 codes which deal with ethics, equitable portrayal, violence, news and journalistic independence.  Nearly 900 radio stations, satellite radio services, television stations and specialty and pay television services across Canada participate in the Council.

NNC concerned that court decision will hurt journalism

The National NewsMedia Council is deeply concerned about an Ontario Superior Court decision that forces Vice Media reporter Ben Makuch to hand his background material to the RCMP.

Police want screen captures of Makuch’s online conversations with Farah Shirdon, a Canadian who has been charged in absentia for terrorism-related offenses. The court has now ruled in favour of the RCMP request, saying that the reporter’s material is “important evidence in relation to very serious allegations” and that there is “strong public interest in the effective investigation and prosecution of such allegations”.

The NNC believes there is also strong public interest in a free and independent media. This ruling is not simply a setback for investigative journalism in Canada. It is a chilling precedent. As McKuch’s lawyer says, the credibility and independence of journalists will be undermined by a decision that means conversation with a journalist could easily become information for police.

A free and independent media is a cornerstone of democracy. That freedom and independence is seriously eroded when the courts compel journalists to become unwitting assistants of police investigations.


Technical error resulted in the faces of two children appearing on Facebook

A technical error resulted in the faces of two children appearing on the Facebook site of an Australian newspaper.
That error also underlined the importance of “appropriate checks and balances when using new technologies particularly when publishing images of children”, the Australian Press Council said in a recent adjudication.

A print story in The Queensland Times on 1 July 2015 contained an image of an accused person, but the Facebook version, headed “Goodna dad accused of drug, weapons and robbery offences”, included an image of two children not related to the article.

The paper admitted to the error in posting the children’s faces, apologized and offered to assist with having Facebook references removed. However, the Australian Press Council upheld the complaint because of the “serious breach of privacy” and “significant impact on the family and the children”.
At the hearing, the paper noted a new policy of blurring or cropping images of children in its court-related image library, but problems remain in previewing images that will be published on mobile platforms.

Read the full adjudication at:

Australian Press Council adopts Reconciliation Action Plan

Australia, like Canada, has the task of facing racism and rebuilding relations with its indigenous peoples. The Australian Press Council recognizes the powerful role of the media in that process, and has adopted its own reconciliation plan.

Over the next three years, the APC will promote understanding between indigenous and non-indigenous groups. In practical terms, that means

  • encouraging membership by Indigenous newspapers, magazines and online news and current affairs sites;
  • engaging and consulting with Indigenous groups, individuals and organisations regarding the Press Council’s work;
  • encouraging the Australian news media to report issues of importance for Indigenous communities in a respectful way, especially those that highlight inequality and the need to “close the gap”; and
  • endeavouring to promote high quality reporting in relation to Indigenous peoples.

Traditionally, indigenous communities “had a very mixed relationship with media and that’s been underpinned by a paucity of trust,” said Chris Graham, an Australian Press Council member and publisher, who added the “takes its obligations to the nation’s most vulnerable people seriously”.



“In neither Canada nor the United States do reporters have a blanket right to keep sources anonymous based on constitutional rights of free expression.  Nevertheless, in applying common law or statutory shield laws, courts north and south of the border have acknowledged that reporters should be able to do so where there is not a compelling reason to override that right.

So, what should reporters know about promising anonymity to their sources?” – Grant Buckler, CJFE

NNC expresses concern at events unfolding in Ontario Superior Court

The National NewsMedia Council of Canada (NNC) expresses its concern at events unfolding in Ontario Superior Court as the RCMP seeks to compel VICE journalist Ben Makuch to hand over his notes connected to an interview with suspected Canadian ISIS fighter Farah Shirdon.

NNC president and CEO John Fraser said that although police have responsibility to investigate, they should be extremely wary of co-opting the media to serve as assistants in that work.

“News media in Canada either have the duty and right to report without fear or favour, or they do not. There is little grey area here,” Mr. Fraser said. “It is particularly in the most difficult cases, like this one, where the truest test of media freedom is found.”

National NewsMedia Council believes Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made a fundamental error

NNC logo


February 19, 2016

The National NewsMedia Council believes Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made a fundamental error by banning The Rebel from parliamentary briefings on the basis that its representatives are not “real journalists”.

“I am relieved that Ms Notley has apologized for the initial decision and withdrawn the ban, but we are deeply concerned that the issue remains on the table,” said John Fraser, president and CEO of the new council.

The NNC, which represents the public and media in matters concerning the democratic rights of freedom of speech and freedom of the media, hopes former Canadian Press bureau chief Heather Boyd – deputized by Notley to investigate the issue – will state in the strongest possible terms that government has no role in deciding who is a journalist or in barring media access to public information.

The NNC has a mandate to criticize media members when they fall short of journalistic standards, but it also vigorously defends media access to, and right to report on, government and public events.

The definition of “media” and “journalist” is arguably elastic with the proliferation of online sites, bloggers and commentators. But these new media are nevertheless all part of a free and unfettered media. It’s worth remembering that the press gallery on Parliament Hill was shockingly slow at opening up to female journalists, broadcasters and photographers.

Canada’s media have never been regulated by government, and never should be. While media, by long tradition, may have partisan leanings, it is not the government who gets to decide what meets the definition of legitimate journalism.


Retirement Luncheon for Don McCurdy

69064_159379704096949_100000747617178_340832_8116459_nOn Wednesday, Feb. 17, the NewsMedia Council will host a small luncheon to honour Don McCurdy, the last executive director of the Ontario Press Council. Don has been a great friend to the new National NewsMedia Council. In fact, it was originally his idea to bring the regional press councils together, a task driven with great conviction by our chair, the Hon. Frances Lankin.

For the past six months, Don has been the gentle and ever-helpful Sherpa to Executive Director Pat Perkel and CEO John Fraser as they started up this brave new endeavour and they have been am very grateful for that help. Don has promised to be available when and if the media council ever needs him, yet another sign of his loyalty and commitment, which will be honoured at the luncheon this week.

Media Council Co-Hosts Spotlight on Publishers







(Left to right: Phillip Crawley, Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, John Cruickshank, Kelly Toughill)

On February 3rd  evening, the NNC co-hosted a very interesting discussion between Phillip Crawley, publisher of the Globe and Mail, John Cruickshank, publisher of the Toronto Star, and Pierre-Elliott Levasseur, Chief Operating Officer of La Presse. The evening, co-hosted by the Canadian Journalism Foundation, was entitled “Spotlight on Publishers: The Challenge of Making News Pay”.

Between the publishers and the well-attended audience (everyone is more than curious about the subject matter!) there was a good discussion. Many of the familiar nostrums were trotted out, including possible government intervention, but what resonated most with CEO John Fraser was the continuing conviction that trying to do the best and most professional job, despite dwindling resources, was the best front line of defence. “I personally am convinced that at some point, the hard core of responsible readership will kick in to maintain the integrity of the media. I also think that this is one of the principal justifications for the National NewsMedia Council, whether you are a printed newspaper, a magazine or new member of the digital news media.

UK press councils, post-Leveson

“This week saw a major step forward for genuinely independent press regulation in the UK. The new press regulator IMPRESS (Independent Monitor for the Press) has announced that it has not only signed up a dozen publishers but that it has submitted an application for formal recognition,” writes Steven Barnett in the January 22, 2016 edition of The Conversation.

“The raison d’etre for IMPRESS is trusted journalism, which every survey of public opinion tells us – certainly for the printed press – is in very short supply. But it’s also about supporting great journalism, in particular providing protection for the kind of watchdog reporting which is increasingly vulnerable to the chilling effect of wealthy litigants threatening bankruptcy through the courts,” Barnett writes.

Read the full story at