Key Points

  • Sean Prentiss discusses how Edward Abbey may have shifted the timeline and altered certain details in Desert Solitaire. But we also explore how there may be room for these kinds of changes in the gray area of memoir.
  • Jim Fingal explains the reasons for the factual inaccuracies in John D’Agatas essay, featured in The Lifespan of a Fact. From D’Agata’s perspective, if you get too hung up on the facts, you’ll lose sight of the story. And from Fingal’s fact-checking viewpoint: if you don’t get the facts straight, you’ll distract the reader from the truth.
  • Michael Trudeau explains fact checking as it relates to the editorial process in publishing.
  • Bill Dietrich teaches us that there are many different sides to a story and many potential truths, and it’s a journalist’s responsibility to get the facts straight to tell the larger truth.