August 21, 2017

Murrow Alumnus Challenges Prison and Hospital Conditions through Film

“Be confident and touch on issues which others are afraid to.” Seth Kwame Boateng couldn’t shake Secretary of State John Kerry’s advice to his cohort of Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists in the United States. Inspired to bring his microphone to the people of Ghana, he uses film to give a voice to the voiceless.

After returning home from his Murrow program, Seth brought light to Ghana’s high childbirth and infant mortality rates.  With insufficient ability to care for women and expectant mothers, an average of four babies die each day in Ghana during childbirth.  His documentary “Next to Die,” which he produced with Mandela Washington Fellow alumnus Richard Selormy, chronicles the congestion, infection, and lack of care at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.  The hospital is an unfinished 995 bed Obstetrics and Gynecology and Child Health Centre which has yet to be finished after 43 years due to neglect and lack of sufficient resources.  His film brings attention to the 100 women that die annually there during childbirth and has earned accolades across Ghana and internationally for its depth and insight.

Seth also made “Left to Rot” as a follow-up to his award-winning documentary on prison conditions “Locked and Forgotten.” “Left to Rot” has been aired on television and radio stations across Ghana and earned praise from the Former President of Ghana.  His earlier work “Locked and Forgotten” focused on the state of human rights abuses in Ghanaian prisons, highlighting the plight of remand prisoners, or those that are imprisoned until they go to trial. The compelling documentary drove the Ghanaian government release 200 inmates who had been sentenced and imprisoned without trial.  Seth won Ghana’s 2015 Journalist of the Year for his work on “Locked and Forgotten,” solidifying him as one of Ghana’s most notable journalists of the 21st Century. 

On June 24, 2017, Seth won the Exclusive Men of The Year Africa Award (EMY AFRICA AWARDS) in the Communication Category for his impactful stories that continue to change lives in his community. The EMY Awards, created in 2016, recognize Ghanaian men whose passion and dedication have driven development at both the familial and national levels.

Through extensive interaction with other seasoned journalists during his time as an Edward Murrow Fellow in the United States, Seth developed increased consciousness of journalistic ethics and professionalism. He is now using those skills to hold those in authority accountable for their actions.

Photo courtesy of Prime News Ghana.

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