One of the most famous quotes of legendary journalist G. Bruce Boyer is on “style”. The respected former GQ editor once said: “Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.”
GHOne TV reporter Godwin Asediba appears to be living my Bruce Boyer’s code. The young broadcast journalist has seen his name make waves on social media after one of his catchy reports went viral.
The said report, titled “Aplaku Clinic in distress”, went viral on Twitter earlier this week, sparking variant comments from netizens. Asediba’s introduction to the report remains one of the most dramatic journalist scenes ever seen on these shores.
Every good story should be able to capture the attention of its audience and Asediba did that to great effect. The video begins with a nurse trying to help a woman in labour to deliver her baby.
Frustrated by the expectant mother’s screams and wails, the nurse moots: “You are not pushing, you are shoutin.” A few seconds later, the nurse lets out a huge sigh of relief: “Aah the baby is out.”
As dramatic as the opening of the video looks, viewers are soon left with eggs on their faces when they realise the nurse was not attending to any expectant mother. Rather, it was this journalist called Asediba laying beneath the sheet all this while.
For Asediba, though, this is exactly the response he expects when picks a story topic. For years, the Aplaku Fitness Clinic has been left neglected and dejected.
And the only way to bring the public’s attention to the dire situation at the clinic was to demonstrate the suffering of women in labour. While the report’s introduction looked dramatic, it revealed a serious issue that needed to be immediately attended to.
“What actually motivated me to pick such a story is that I have much passion for human interest stories. I like to bring light to issues to get people’s attention for them to be solved,” Asediba tells Pulse.com.gh in an exclusive interview.
“With this particular story, the chief of Aplaku, which is a community in the Ga South Municipality in the Greater Accra region, watched most of my stories about people who need help, bringing light to situations, and in one or two weeks’ time, you find that I get a solution to that problem that I’ve brought to light.
“So, he decided to reach out to me and felt that if I should have my hands on that story, the community will have its people getting quality healthcare.
“When I went there it was a disastrous story, so I decided to put my hands on it. This report is to provide an oversight to some of the key issues facing the health sector here in Ghana."
Having practised journalism over the last six years, Asediba is passionate about telling impactful stories. Indeed, the report on the Aplaku Clinic was done two years ago, only that it is now gaining social media attention.
“Here in Ghana or Africa at large, if you visit our rural communities, one of the biggest challenges is health. So I had to bring attention to that, so that the people in the community can get access to quality healthcare,” the young broadcaster said.
Since excerpts of the story were shared on Twitter, it has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. As of the time of writing this piece, the video has garnered 172,000 views on Twitter alone.
Also, it has been retweeted a whopping 3,257 times and has over eight thousand likes on the microblogging site. Asediba, however, says he did not expect the story to go viral.
“I wasn’t really expecting this to go viral. I’m a little amazed [because] this is a story that I did about two years ago,” he revealed. “And usually when I’m doing a story, I want to do something that will get the public’s attention so that I can get fast results for the story.
“I was out of ideas as to what to do to tell the story very well. So I was like ‘let me do this’ and I did it.”
This dramatic style of reporting, though, is not new to the GHOne TV journalist. According to him, he’s always keen on catching the attention of his audience, hence his dramatic approach.
“It’s something that I’ve been doing with most of my reports. When I go out to report on a story and I’m back, you’ll find the newsroom asking me if I haven’t done anything dramatic,” Asediba explains.
“Well, that is a unique way of telling my stories, so that immediately you see something about the story, you know that this is Asediba. This is not the first time. This is just a way of letting my stories stand out and also getting faster solutions to my stories.”
Asediba believes his story has been impactful and has achieved its intended purpose. Following his report, the Aplaku Clinic has been renovated and given a facelift.
“If someone finds such a video very fascinating on Twitter and it has gone viral, I feel that I did a better job to get the people’s attention.
“And I actually feel happy that I’ve gotten the attention that I was seeking, which is to get the attention of the public and also to get a solution to the problem in that particular clinic.”
Talk of impactful journalism. Indeed, Asediba’s story shined some light on the Aplaku Clinic and the facility currently has new beds, an air conditioner and a standby generator – all these were not there when he filed his story.
“As I’m talking to you, the clinic currently has been refurbished. It has five new beds and five delivery beds as well. They have an air conditioner there now which they previously didn’t have,” he said.
“They didn’t have a standby generator; they have a plant now. They also have access to quality health services in that clinic.”
But while his report has been impactful, not everyone is impressed with his dramatic way of telling stories. There have been rave reviews, but so has there been some criticisms.
Asediba, though, prefers to dwell only on the positives. In his view, he is just doing his job and as long as his reports make an impact on society, everything else does not matter.
“Some of the responses on social media were positive and others were negative and some were also funny. But I just pick the positive side because I’m just doing my job and I hope to get solutions to everything I lay by hands on.
“A lot of people were saying that’s a creative way of telling the story, others were also calling me names and all that. But I focus much on the positive side and I’m very happy about the attention that this story has gotten,” the broadcast journalist adds.
Perhaps, G. Bruce was right after all: “Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.”
Watch Godwin Asediba's full report on the Aplaku Clinic below: