Site accused of antisemitism joins regulator

The Dorset Eye published a 2019 article claiming TV presenter Rachel Riley worked for Israel


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A news outlet accused of antisemitism in its coverage of the row over racism in Labour has joined press regulator Impress.

The website founded in 2012 said last week it was “very proud” to have joined the regulator. 

The Dorset Eye describes itself as a “progressive, open and rigorous” community outlet, but it has faced repeated accusations of antisemitism from anti-racism campaigners. 

According to multiple media reports, it published an article in 2019 containing the baseless claim that TV presenter Rachel Riley works for the “Israeli state propaganda machine.”

It has also published material critical of Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis including, according to screenshots circulated online, a letter describing the faith leader as a “modern day Judas”.

Rabbi Mirvis previously spoke out against the party’s handling of antisemitism under former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. 

The website’s co-founder Jason Cridland dismissed antisemitism claims in a 2019 blog post.

He said he had attempted to engage with critics on the issue and had found it “challenging.”

“Their dogma, hate and incapacity to provide any evidence is actually quite disturbing. Even when I have managed to respond it is often removed for fear of their followers seeing the crater sized flaws in their argument,” he wrote.

An Impress spokesperson said it was important that all publishers be regulated.

"In recent weeks, concerns have been raised in the national press about discriminatory material published on news websites that are regulated by IMPRESS.
"IMPRESS welcomes greater scrutiny of the standards and ethical practices of news publishers and encourages members of the public to contact us if they are concerned about content published by newspapers, magazines or news websites that we regulate and in the wider media more broadly," the regulator said.

Impress operates an arbitration scheme and can fine publishers who breach its code as well as direct apologies and corrections.

 Dorset Eye did not immediately return requests for comment.

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