"We've got a landscape of great local media in the United States of America," says Deseret Management Corporation senior VP Aaron Sherinian, "but with the upending of the business model and with technology, it's been deforested. Some of the greats have fallen, some of the greats have been taken down and some of the greats just can't afford to stand."

As part of the company behind the Deseret News, Sherinian has a major stake in the future of local media, which he says is in "crisis mode."

Deseret, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also has a mission to ensure that faith has a seat at the table when it comes to the issues covered by local media. Sherinian tells Simon that "it's not enough to ask the media to cover the story of the day. It's to help us understand the stories that maybe we don't realize we need to be educated more on, maybe that bring us the richness. And that includes things like faith. It includes things like identities. It includes things like culture."

Sherinian also says that faith can be a key element in making a deeper connection with audiences. "My challenge to our colleagues is that we should embrace this idea of let society show up as its whole self. That includes a society that cares very much about faith, religion, God centered spirituality. However it's defined, it's a part of how people have their own real-life existence."

He also tells Simon that nuanced reporting on faith-based issues can combat the power of the extreme voices that contribute to the overall polarization that is prevalent. Audiences "know that the extremes are filling the void or screaming very loudly. So, what can you do? Give me a little bit more detail. Give me a little bit more nuance. Help me understand."

Such developments as the metaverse, he adds, can also help in creating a vital sense of community. "Technology could be the thing that brings down barriers here. I hope it is. I hope it allows me to broaden my horizons because in looking around and learning more about other people's faiths, it does nothing but strengthen my own in a better way."

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D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.