REGULATION: IMPRESS releases findings of investigation into news website 5Pillars

17 May 2021. IMPRESS has published the findings of an investigation into content published by news website 5Pillars. Of the four items investigated, a Regulatory Committee ruled that one breach of the discrimination clause of the IMPRESS Standards Code had occurred. As a result, the publisher was required to edit or remove a video from its website; and to publish a statement with a link to the full adjudication. Another news item was found not to have breached the Code and the remaining two, which had been published several years before 5Pillars became under IMPRESS regulation, were voluntarily removed by the publisher from its archive.

This investigation followed concerns raised in the national press about content published by 5Pillars and by various groups and individuals, who chose not to make individual complaints to IMPRESS. Having assessed 16 published items, IMPRESS used its powers to investigate four of those items on its own initiative. 12 of the 16 items were not investigated, as they were found by a Regulatory Committee to be outside the remit of IMPRESS or because they did not engage the Standards Code.


In July 2020, IMPRESS issued a statement to announce that it was gathering information in relation to allegations that had been made about news website 5Pillars, and invited members of the public to contact it about any concerns. At the request of some of those who contacted IMPRESS, the deadline for raising concerns was extended until November 2020. A Regulatory Committee sat in December 2020 to assess the evidence, which led to an investigation into four items of content during January and February 2021.

A summary of the findings of the investigation is available here.

About IMPRESS-initiated investigations:

In addition to investigating complaints made by members of the public, IMPRESS has powers to initiate independent investigations into any of the publications it regulates, through a fair and impartial process as required under the system of approved regulation. Further, IMPRESS has powers to assess evidence of serious or systemic breaches of its Standards Code.

IMPRESS is an approved regulator under the post-Leveson Royal Charter on self-regulation of the press. Any concerns about the standards of content or news gathering activities of any of the titles that we regulate should be referred to us without delay. IMPRESS is independent of the publishers it regulates and will investigate any concerns that are brought to our attention fairly and impartially.

Information on how to raise a complaint to IMPRESS is available on:

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Note: Further regulatory information on 5Pillars (regulated since 05/04/2018) can be found in our Annual Reports. Information on all of our complaints and investigation decisions is available here.