Is mainstream media finally getting serious about spirituality? In a recent New York Times op-ed, columnist David Brooks suggested that the search for meaning and consciousness is starting to shift “away from hardcore materialism.” And that's just one example from the past year—Oprah’s ringing endorsement of Eckhart Tolle and Time magazine’s feature about the stroke-induced spiritual insights of neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor are others. Could it be that big media, which has often written off subjects like spirituality and consciousness as little more than new age superstitions, is starting to get enlightened?
In this interview with Mallika Chopra, daughter of Deepak and a key player in the growing world of spiritual media, editors Elizabeth Debold and Carol Raphael attempt to uncover what's behind this encouraging trend. Chopra, who cofounded the online media companies My Potential, Inc., and intent.com, suggests that major media networks are responding to a growing consumer demand for spiritual content in the general public—a phenomenon she attributes to the maturation of the baby boomer generation and its spiritually and socially conscious values. Drawing on her work with corporate giants like FOX, MTV, and Yahoo, Chopra describes some of the ways that mainstream media moguls are expanding their boundaries to capture the attention of this emerging audience.