I have just been reading about the legacy – the professional legacy, Daphne has left behind. She has also left a void, a number of them which would be very difficult to fill.
In the first instance Daphne left a void for a widower, a motherhood for her children, a hiatus for her siblings and many, many friendships for as many people. We should not forget this side of her. Daphne projected an tough image but she was nonetheless human with the emotions and sensitivities we all have. The perception to all of us, especially her bitter enemies of which she had many – as many as there are crooks around – was that she could take as much as she could give. But that was only one side of the woman –the journalistic side for public consumption. She was still a wife to her husband, a mother to her children and a friend to her many well-wishers.
She left a lacuna in our morning routine. Hundreds were the readers who waking up in the morning went straight to their laptops to glean the information Daphne dished out in her Running Commentary. That seven o’ clock break now finds those of us addicted to always wanting to know more, running around like headless chicks.
There was the gossip side to her commentary which went down well with some, though not so much with others who would have preferred a more charitable stand-off – but that’s another story.
The vile tongue trolls are now creeping out of their closets venturing remarks which, before they would not have dared. Daphne had kept them at bay. She knew their little secrets too well and they knew just as well that she would have no hesitation in slapping them on the wrist. Running Commentary had different sets of followers. There was the ordinary day to day reader who wanted to be informed. There was the wrongdoer who reacted to Daphne’s accusations and possibly took her to court knowing fully well that the time spent in long drawn out sittings would take the oomph out of her accusations. And then there were the dormant wrongdoers who threw themselves under the carpet damned if they would react to her for fear of her dishing out more.
Following her assassination these have discovered the courage they never had and are giving us a bit of their mind, sure and safe in the knowledge that Daphne is not there to show them for what they are. No two ways about it now, we have to make do with them and their new found verbigeration.
The greatest void Daphne has left us with is the where from we would be getting our information. Before, we carried on with our lives in the sure knowledge that someone somewhere was researching the whereabouts of the underworld.
Criminals, politicians, public servants were all under her lens. She was out to get at all wrongdoers however petty or big their shortcomings were. We had our mind at rest that big sister was watching them. She kept them on their toes. Gone is that check. We have to look elsewhere now. In normal circumstances we would have had broadcasting stations and other media in general, but we all know that these cannot be relied upon.
Party media give the impression that they live in different worlds, whilst the state broadcaster is even worse because it gives a false sense of objectivity. The recent Pana Committee Review noted that there is a serious list of shortcomings in the prosecution of money laundering and tax fraud, implementation of enforcement, maladministration issues in due diligence amongst other failures in the system. Headline news from our tax-paid state broadcaster was that we are in line with tax rules and regulations. So much for objective impartial transmission of news.
We do have up and coming journalists who would definitely keep Daphne as their role model but Daphne was much more than a journalist. She threw caution to the wind and did not let that reflex of self preservation keep her from spilling beans.Daphne had a network of informants who trusted her, who were sure that she would give their information the required objective attention, who would doubly assess the data, who would research and improve or disprove what she had been passed on – a tall order for our up and coming journalists.
There is an appointed time for everything
And a time for every affair under the heavens
It is now the time to live with a legacy, with a void.