Columnist’s sort-of apology

A light-hearted posting containing an apology poking fun at the idea of plagiarism has been made on Facebook by a Star weekend columnist, the broadcasting and marketing personality Dawn Jeremiah, who works for Li.TV, a satellite channel which is a Star subsidiary.

Several of Jeremiah’s articles were the subject of plagiarism queries last week; one article was taken down from Star Online without explanation but other articles remain online. The column has been stopped, according to an informant, but there’s not been any official word from the Star.

In her Facebook posting, she merely apologised for not having cited any source for her article; she did not acknowledge having lifted material from articles published elsewhere, nor did she explain how or why she claimed as her own experience something that had been written about by others, one at a UK property web site and one by a Yahoo contributor.(Side by side comparison » Plagiarism query on Star column)

She said:

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.
» Facebook posting

By describing it as an “oversight”, she completely disregards the fact that her use of people’s research, text and experiences — written up as if these were her own — would clearly be regarded as outright theft. » The Loyar Burok view: Crimes of photo-stomping and plagiarism

In an April 21 article, she wrote:

“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’ — these were the exact words of a Yahoo contributor published two years ago. Substantial portions of the April 21 article were also lifted from there.

On August 25, another article under her byline said:

“This guide is what I put together to help highlight those key points you need to be thinking of at each and every stage of your quest for the perfect apartment.”
The words were the same as those in an article by Hannah Stark at the web site; many other paragraphs from the same article were also used in the Star column.

It is not apparent from the Facebook posting that she sees any distinction between citing sources and lifting other people’s stuff; her use of “plagiarism” in quotes seems to be an attempt to cast doubt that any such thing happened — but she makes no attempt at explaining.

Star also makes like dunno


The Star itself has quietly ignored the whole matter: it has taken no action except to take down the August 25 article. Other articles which were highlighted as containing lifted material remain available at Star Online.

The Aug. 25 article was exposed in a tip-off, apparently after the editor of the Star had been informed. According to the grapevine, the case came up somewhat conveniently about a week after anti-plagiarism software was shown to the Star.

Anti-plagiarism software is commonly used in academic institutions, where intellectual theft is regarded seriously, especially with the growth of ghost-writing essay services in the US to produce term papers and other academic reports.



10 thoughts on “Columnist’s sort-of apology

  1. See? I guess those who felt sorry for her and her `future’ should realise by now that once you treat these incidences merely as `unfortunate oversights’, this kind of shameful behaviour will be accepted as something light, even by perpetrator. No remorse, nothing learned. All just swept under the carpet. Absolutely disgusting.Howlah to improve Malaysian journalism – such that it is – like this?

  2. Terrible — the fact that she regards these as “allegations,” then apologises? If they are merely allegations, why is she apologising for them? Oversight? Really? I would have said that she has damaged her credibility even more, but really, it can’t get any worse. She has built up this false persona by using other people’s writings, thoughts and intellectual property.

    Which university in the US did she say she graduated from? Might be worth doing a check with the admissions office there, and asking them for a statement on their journalism course and whether it includes any modules on ethics and plagiarism.

    • From Dawn Jeremiah’s Linkedin page:


      International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)
      San Francisco State University
      INTI International College
      Convent Green Lane Secondary School

      She claims to have worked or interned at the following institutions In the United States:

      Account Executive
      SHIFT Communications LLC (San Francisco)

      2005 – 2006 (1 year)
      Public Relations Intern
      US Department of State (San Francisco)
      2005 – 2005 (less than a year)
      ABC Television
      2004 – 2004 (less than a year)

      Check at this link to confirm

  3. I am deeply saddened that the writer is not repentant. She seems to think that it is not a big deal. Real remorse would render this whole unpleasant situation forgivable. Sometimes it is better to confront our pride and swallow it.

  4. The most hilarious thing – on that post apologising, if you criticise her (however mildly or politely) or insinuate perhaps plagiarism is, ooh, I dunno, WRONG – she deletes your comment and unfriends you on Facebook.

  5. Oh, so now plagiarism is a human “quirk” and “flaw” that society is supposed to learn to live with? I think she was better off staying silent.

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