New Chicago Sun-Times CEO discusses fake news, future of newspaper

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It was a headline seen around the world: "Fake President." (WLS)

The Chicago Sun-Times' "Fake President" headline was seen around the world last week.

The newspaper sought to call out President Donald Trump after his wavering response to the violence that took place during the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

On Monday, the newspaper's new CEO Edwin Eisendrath said the headline did not signal of a new direction in coverage.

"It was very newsworthy, and I think every front page of almost every paper in the country covered the same thing that day," said Eisendrath to Chicago business and civic leaders at the City Club.

Eisendrath is a former alderman who also has run for governor and congress. The Sun-Times was recently purchased by a consortium of unions and private investors.

"What I'm most proud of is that Chicago is the kind of a place where labor can step up with private sector leaders and wealthy investors who care about the city and all together to be part of saving the kind of independent voice that our democracy needs," Eisendrath said.

Eisendrath also talked about he challenges facing newspapers as fewer people are buying them.

"It is true that very young Americans, not just in Chicago, have transitioned their news habits to something else," Eisendrath said. "So we need news that's engaging, and that's important, but we do have to deliver it where they can read it on different platforms."

Eisendrath discussed the challenges journalists face in an era where the president frequently blasts what he calls "fake news."

"Our democracy's in a tough spot, and people have to find news they trust," Eisendrath said. "They have to trust people to tell it with honesty and integrity."

When asked what can be done about fake news, Eisendrath joked, "don't read it."

Eisnedrath also said he hopes that there will always be a place for newspapers.
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