CBS News reporter Wesley Lowery, a Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the most powerful black voices in American media, has joined the lineup for next week’s PRovokeGlobal conference.

Lowery will be speaking during a session, sponsored by Weber Shandwick, asking, “Does the Dusty Cloak of Journalistic Objectivity Mask the Truth About Racial Injustice?” Lowery believes that the media’s role in covering issues of bias and structural inequities is central to driving change. But he contends that the media is clinging to an outmoded operating system of “objectivity” that is at odds with “the truth” of the Black experience in the United States.

Lowery will be joined by Weber Shandwick public affairs strategist Emil Hill and DE&I strategist Tai Wingfield to debate the power and responsibility of the media in reporting this generation’s most critical societal movement, and the increasing importance of the business community in advocacy, balancing the dialogue and creating sanctuaries of listening and civility for employees.

Before joining CBS, Lowery worked at The Washington Post, where he was a lead on the Post's "Fatal Force" project that won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 2016. He is also the author of “They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement.”

He joins a line-up of senior global media executives at the event, including Shekhar Gupta, editor-in-chief and chairman of ThePRint, one of India's leading media voices, and an influential national columnist and TV host; and Lauren Young, editor of digital special projects at Reuters, and a workplace, personal finance and digital expert who has been with the media company for 12 years.

Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Tim Nguyen, unit head for high impact events in the global infectious hazard preparedness department of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, speaking on a panel addressing ways to fight misinformation during the current Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Sally Susman, EVP and chief corporate affairs officer at pharmaceutical company Pfizer, where she is also vice chair of The Pfizer Foundation and co-chair of Pfizer’s Political Action Committee. 
  • Trent Ross, chief research officer, corporate reputation, at polling specialist Ipsos.
  • Dr. Nirit Weiss-Blatt (Ph.D.), a visiting research fellow at USC Annenberg who has worked as a tech journalist and in tech PR in Israel. She and Ross will be discussing the communications challenges and the public policy implications of the ongoing “techlash.”

PRovokeGlobal highlights will include sessions on:

Full programme here. 

PRovokeGlobal is supported by numerous partners and sponsors, including FleishmanHillard, BCW, Imre, Ketchum, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, W2O Group, WE Communications, Weber Shandwick, Prophet, Edelman, AxiCom, M Booth, Adfactors, Crisp, Zeno Group, Finn Partners, Highwire, Davis & Gilbert, thenetworkone, Prosper Group, GCI Health, Allison+Partners and SPRG. Supporting organizations include WARC, ICCO and APACD.