Monday, December 15, 2008
Since placing Red Rose in the smoke category I have received several informative emails which have led me to remove this designation as of the website update later tonight.
I have also received one email suggesting malicious motives for the use of the smoke category. Please allow me to clarify. The smoke category is used based on 5 or more complaints of a non-specific nature and removed if these are not substantiated or there are 10 or more contrary reports.
If an unacceptable practice is confirmed then the 'fire' category is applied and the press becomes 'not recommended'. Thus 'smoke' is an alert, not a condemnation, although I appreciate that it is alarming for those associated with a press who know that it functions well and admirably and does not deserve to have a shadow cast over it.
I feel the smoke category is useful and worth retaining as an alert to help clarify a situation that is weaker than a 'not recommended' status but stronger than direct report of specific anecdotes. In all prior cases 'smoke' presses have either retained this status or progressed to 'fire' or 'dead market'--so it does act predominantly as an early warning system but cannot be always interpreted in this way.
I would like to thank the Red Rose staff and authors that chose to respond constructively and provide information to this site that allowed a correction to be made.