Dorset Eye now displays the regulator’s kitemark on its website purportedly guaranteeing its “commitment to the principles of journalism”.
In 2019, the website accused the Jewish television presenter and anti-extremism activist, Rachel Riley, of working for the “Israeli state propaganda machine” and claimed that “her goons” will be responsible for “another Jo Cox moment”, a reference to the murder of the MP by a white supremacist. “Whether she is paid for her hate and propaganda is not for me to say but she is quite obviously (if only to me) a fascist and an Israeli state terrorist sympathiser,” the article went on to say.
Another article on the website described Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis as “a modern day Judas” and “paid agent” of Israel. The article, which has since been removed, also warned of “another Kristallnacht”, referencing the infamous antisemitic Nazi pogrom in 1938.
Impress is officially recognised by the Government’s Press Regulation Panel and is partly funded by the family foundation of Max Mosley. Its members are required to abide by “minimum professionals standards” and must not “make prejudicial or pejorative reference to a person on the basis of that person’s…race, religion…or another characteristic that makes that person vulnerable to discrimination”.
An Impress spokesperson reportedly said: “The role of an approved press regulator is not to endorse the actions of those it regulates but to fairly and neutrally investigate and assess the newsgathering practices and content.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Questions must be asked of Impress for this decision. No serious regulator would take on Dorset Eye, a community website and resource which purports to have a warm and fuzzy image to publish antisemitic articles that clearly breach the International Definition of Antisemitism.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism monitors the media and regularly holds outlets to account. If members of the public are concerned about reportage in the media, they should contact us at [email protected].