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Pop quiz: Why is the front page of today's Chicago Sun-Times blank?

By Published on .

The front page of the April 23, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times.
The front page of the April 23, 2018 Chicago Sun-Times.

Time for a pop quiz: All pencils, papers, smart phones and tablets off your desks, people!

Q. Why is the front page of today's Chicago Sun-Times blank?

A. Because President Trump went on an epic Twitter tirade over the weekend—attacking James Comey, the media (including "Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake News NBC"), etc.—and the Sun-Times just has no words any more. Like, it's literally just speechless.

B. Speaking of Trump, because the president's tariffs on Canadian newsprint just kicked in, and paper costs for many U.S. newspapers have jumped 30 percent (see "Local newspapers fear tariffs could cripple them," via CNN), so now there's no budget left for the usual front-pagey stuff like, you know, the news.

C. Because this happened five years ago: "Chicago Sun-Times lays off entire photography staff" (per the Associated Press via the The Guardian); subhead: "Twenty-eight employees reported to have lost their jobs as newspaper says it needs to move towards more online video." Today's Chicago Sun-Times front page represents a revolutionary, if belated, new evolution of print as a platform. As in, you're supposed to literally stick your smart phone on the Sun-Times—right there amidst all that alluring white space. Enjoy your online videos, y'all!

D. Because of, well, this, per the editors of the Sun-Times this morning: "Imagine Chicago without the Sun-Times: An urgent appeal." An excerpt:

We're asking you to please support our daily work by subscribing to our website for $7.49 a month. That's less than 25 cents a day. In return, you'll get unlimited access to our web content and will help protect the long-term survival of our newsroom.

What's at stake
Imagine our city without our headlines.
Without our journalists to tell your side of the story.
Without our beatwriters to cover sports.
Without our watchdog reporters to keep an eye on government.
Without our columnists and editorial board to be a second voice.
Imagine it. Then help us make sure it doesn't happen.

Answer key: D, primarily (but probably with a mix of A, B and C in there somewhere as well).

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