Oct 13, 2023 - News

Chicago Sun-Times to launch new modern advice column with Ismael Pérez

Man in blue suit with black shirt standing in front of lake with skyline in the background.

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Ismael Pérez. Photo: Ashlee Rezin and Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is taking a younger, more modern approach to the traditional newspaper advice column.

Driving the news: This Sunday, the paper is launching "Someone in Chicago," a weekly column written by Ismael Pérez.

Why it matters: Pérez — a 31-year-old, gay Mexican American columnist — is using his personal experiences to foster a space that's welcoming and approachable to younger, more diverse readers.

What they're saying: "I can tend to get personal and kind of get vulnerable … making people see our similarities in our struggles or experiences," Pérez tells Axios.

State of play: "Someone in Chicago" aims to offer advice to Gen Z and millennial readers who wouldn't usually go to a newspaper for help handling friendships, love and finances.

  • One example, Pérez says, is advice on whether it's worth living with your parents to save money or risk going broke for more independence.

The big picture: Pérez's column is a more local approach to the Sun-Times' well-known, decades-old "Dear Abby," the nationally syndicated column that's penned by the original "Abby's" daughter. The paper plans to continue running that column daily.

Zoom in: Pérez, who moved to the city from Texas in 2019, is seeking questions specific to Chicago. "There's people who move here every day. And the big question is, 'Where do I start? What's my first step to making a friend?'" Pérez tells Axios.

  • "There's not one specific answer, like, 'Did you move here during the winter? Or did you move here during the summer?'"
  • He'll also tackle other city-centric issues, like what to do if your apartment neighbor's front door camera feels like an invasion of privacy.

What's next: Have a question for Pérez? Send it to:[email protected] or fill out this form.

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