Crisis ban? What crisis ban?
There's an old joke about the difference between a recession and a depression. A recession is when your neighbour loses his job, a depression is when you lose yours. A depression is also what I sometimes feel when I read what some newspapers say about the BBC's reporting of the financial crisis and the language we choose to use.
Firstly, it's reported today that the BBC has banned any reference to the term "crisis". Er, no, we haven't. It's true that tomorrow we're having a day devoted to taking the temperature of the economy around the UK and how it's affecting people, which we're calling "The Downturn". But that doesn't mean we're losing our financial crisis branding when we cover further bank or financial shocks and indeed we'll be using it even tomorrow on our international coverage.
Secondly, it's suggested we're using Downturn in place of the word "recession". Luckily anyone who has watched any of our output this week will know that one's wrong too. Both the prime minister and the governor of the Bank of England have said it's likely we're heading in to a recession and we're saying that in our reports too. In fact we've been reporting the possibility of a recession for months. So, why don't we label our day tomorrow "The Recession" and be done with it? Simply because we may well be in a recession but we won't get any official confirmation of that for a while yet. A recession is two quarters of negative growth and as soon as we're in one you'll hear it from us.
The criticism we're not being gloomy enough about the economy is well balanced by other criticism we've been getting that we're talking down the economy and being too pessimistic. I suppose we should comfort ourselves that we're getting criticism both ways which must put us in about the right place. What I do know for a fact is that our audiences to our radio, TV and online coverage have all grown significantly during this financial crisis (oops, banned word!) and I'd like to thank so many of you for turning to our coverage at this very unsettling time.
Meanwhile if you have a story to tell us about how the economy is affecting you please e-mail us at: bbc.co.uk/haveyoursay