Suspicious deep insights by beauty in Star column

More examples have turned up of suspicious copy in Live the Moment, a fortnightly Saturday column in the Star by contributor Dawn Jeremiah, about which allegations of plagiarism have been made. Besides last Saturday’s piece at least three previous articles appear to have been cobbled together using material apparently lifted from a variety of sources — including bits from a Columbia University professor’s erudite thoughts on friendship.

The article last Saturday was about buying an apartment, the second property article this year. Four months ago, she had allegedly written:

I RECENTLY purchased my first home, because I was tired of throwing money down the rental pit (or rather, my parents pushed me to make that purchase). However, when it comes to buying property, which is likely the biggest investment one will ever make, there can be a lot of catches. I don’t claim to be an expert: I am not a real estate agent nor a property consultant. All I can tell you is what I’ve learned from my experience as a first time homebuyer, and a few things that “I wish I had known then”.

Disarming in its frankness, and one might say quite astonishingly perspicacious in a young broadcasting and marketing personality, aspiring actress and a former runner-up in the Miss Malaysia beauty contest. (She did once remark, though, that beauty contestants were much maligned purely on suspicion of a lack of substance in their noggins.)

More astonishingly, the very same thoughts — and the very same words — had appeared in a Yahoo article Seven Lessons I Had to Learn the Hard Way in July 2010.

Thinking about buying your first home? It’s perfectly understandable. You’re tired of throwing money down the rental pit.However, when it comes to buying property, which is likely the biggest investment you will ever make, there can be a lot of catches. I don’t claim to be an expert: I am not a realtor or a real estate attorney. All I can tell you is what I’ve learned from my experience as a first time homebuyer, and a few things that “I wish I had known then”.

See for yourself: » C.E. Wolfe at Yahoo | » Dawn Jeremiah at the Star
(Tip: A Asohan of Digital News Asia, an anonymous email correspondent, and commenter Jordan.)

But wait, there’s more…

Besides a leading role in Malaysia’s long-running real-life Law ‘N Order political drama, by almost being mugged, the columnist has written on a range of topics, dispensing much wisdom, some of it worthy of a Columbia University professor.

Thoughts on friendship, by the prof

Phillip Lopate — editor, essayist, novelist, poet and film critic — of Columbia University, who has written three books on the art of the personal essay, discussed Modern Friendships, in February 1988. A New York Times reviewer said “he has something refreshing for that generic essay subject”.

Prof Lopate remarked: “Is there anything left to say about friendship after so many great essayists have picked over the bones of the subject? Probably not.” Nevertheless he went on to observe:

Our first attempted friendships are within the family. It is here we practice the techniques of listening sympathetically and proving that we can be trusted, and learn the sort of kindness we can expect in return.

Deep insights on friendship, by the beauty

Dawn Jeremiah’s column True friends are the ones who stand by you – no matter what in June 2012 had this to say:

Mr Lopate, in 1988, cites and quotes from Aristotle, Cicero, Montaigne and Emerson.

Miss Jeremiah, in June 2012, does not cite Mr Lopate.

But a Montaigne quotation did figure once, in the signature paragraph to a column of November 2011 that had the headline Let’s Not Be Hypocritical. The quote is about taking the measure of a man, in which Montaigne says to ignore the appertunances of greatness and “Measure his height with his stilts off”.

The measure of social climbers

What a professor said in July 2011 — Art Markman, quoted in Psychology Today – article written by Jill Coody Smits

Here’s the Dawn Jeremiah version, November 2011

Deep insights on job-hunting

Funny you should say that

Apparently also featured at the blog of World of Warcraft (a popular video game)

And apparently also at an essay writing blog:

Deep insights on resumés

Also seen in…

150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers and Blunders Ever

There are many lessons for journalists in all this, for editors who failed their task as gatekeepers, for executives caught in the corporate chase for the yuppie demographic segment, for the general pandering to the glitterati, and for the general professional failure to keep eyes on the ball. Taking an audit would not be amiss. A return to basic principles in work practices might also help.

Through it all, Miss Jeremiah has been constant in one regard. In that cloying, annoying, simpering, cutesy, signature required by the Star at the end of every column, Miss Jeremiah always closes by saying she is “armed with a passion for television and journalism”.

How very truly, truly, unfortunate — for all of us.



18 thoughts on “Suspicious deep insights by beauty in Star column

  1. Why should this be a `big blow to her’, as if she needs sympathy? This, instead, should be a big lesson to her – and all others mentioned here – that it is NOT right to cheat. All this `she is still young’ crap just won’t do – she’s not a baby who inadvertently picked those passages.

  2. why isn’t she coming out clean, confess, and apologise? is she afraid to face the music? i conclude that this girl is no more than a poor pretender, trying to be something she’s not.

  3. Pingback: The Star Columnist Dawn Jeremiah With More Allegations Of Plagiarism | Happenings In Malaysia

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  6. This should be the final straw for her. She’s taking the mikey on M’sians for quite sometime now. Imagine what else is there to uncover from the past.

    I think someone did a check on her columns after realizing her command of the English language is far inferior from the materials she claims to have written. A common banality among journalism’s smart Alecs…

    Pathetic and good riddance.

    • Louci punya writer. Always copy wan. If tak ada creativity and lazy to write, don’t write la. Usng’s people punya work 2 impress herself and increase her reputation. Gaya ada, mutu tak ada.

      What kind of louci puny celebrity is this? Useless. Worthless. Copy and paste. I also know la.

  7. The hazard of cut-and-paste journalism. This don’t quite happen so freely in the old school cos journalists are not qualified to write commentary or opinion pieces until they have cut their teeth in the basics of writing. More seasoned can also spot suspicious writing when the expressions used are way beyond the maturity of the writer. The bottom line is experience which is acutely in short supply in newspapers.

  8. This was a carefully researched and elegantly written article. I’m sure the Star would turn its nose up at such writing, preferring to publish chunks of random drivel from the world wide web instead. Politicians do it, judges do it, even beauty queens do it…let’s fall in love with plagiarism.

  9. Pingback: MCA should just sell DAP the plagiarizing Star « Helen Ang

  10. this is not surprising, given the fact that plagiarism is “encouraged” in the system. She is after all a by-product of our systemic form of corruption, rent seeking and general disregard for civil and individual liberties…any so called respect for Intellectual and creative rights is the least of concerns.

  11. Her apology at the link. I’m posting it here before she deletes the whole thing. The way her friends are commending her is nauseating.

    Let’s talk about plagiarism shall we? 😉

    In regards to the whole situation of unsettling allegations, I would like to make an apology; something that I think is well overdue. It was an oversight that the sources were not cited within the article and this was never an intention by me or anyone involved. I’m glad that I am now able to come out and say this and I thank you for hearing me out.

    As I
    have been referred to as a “lightweight” by some anonymous people online, I would like to attest that I never claimed to be an authority over a particular subject matter, moreover something that is deemed “serious” in nature. Plus, I only like fun things anyway.

    However, I do write about topics that I like and feel passionate about. Here are several examples:

    Remember Sushi the toy poodle who got abused? Here was my take on it:
    Remember the boot camp that was set up for effeminate boys?
    Remember when Malaysia won 4-2 to Indonesia at the Suzuki Cup last year?
    Remember when Penang was named among Yahoo’s Top 10 islands to explore?
    Remember when there was a video circulating online of a baby being abused by its own mother?
    Are the rising crime rates in shopping malls still fresh in your memory?
    And lastly, this was my own personal experience shooting the movie Geisha Melayu Terakhir.

    It has also came to my attention that there were a few individuals online are accusing me of telling untruths about my experience of attempted snatch theft. I am in no position to force anyone to believe my words. Therefore, I have let those involved, the authorities, together with my friends and associates who know me personally, to be the judge of that, as well as anything else that is accused of me.

    Many thanks to all my readers who have come out with their support, then and now. I’m an individual with many quirks and flaws and if any of my pieces have ever offended anyone in any way, I apologize.

    Thanks for your time,

    P/S: This note has not been plagiarized =)

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