I had never really though much about the difference between the facts and the truth, essentially meaning that I thought there wasn't any difference. Because in order for a fact to be a fact it has to be a little truth, and the complete truth is built by putting together these facts. However my journalism professor told my class a story to show us the difference.

There is a teacher who is accused of abusing his students. He claims his innocence, but because of extreme pressure he resigns. He now goes to Town B seeking another teaching job. Meanwhile the students who accused him, have retracted their statements, saying they just didn't like the teacher and wanted to get rid of him.

Despite the retractions some parents are not convinced of the teacher's innocence. They go to Town B and say, "He was accused of abusing his students."

Well, the parents are stating facts, he was accused; but they aren't really conveying the truth. The moral of the story is, a good reporter or reader reports/reads all the facts, because the truth really is the sum of its parts.

Later: I found a good passage that I think expands on this somewhat. Its from Sophocles' Oedipus the King, lines 561 to 568:

Zeus and Apollo know, they know, the great masters
of all dark and depth of human life.
But whether a mere man can know the truth,
whether a seer can fathom more than I-
there is no test, no certain proof
though matching skill for skill
a man can outstrip a rival. No, not till I see
these charges proved will I side with his accusers.

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