Some stories get written because they are about a money, others because they involve gore or sex. Then there are the stories that simply give journalists the opportunity to use phrases that offend, alliterate or rhyme.
In health this means Fat Maps! Cancer Cure! And this week’s Recession Depression!
The£13m extra investment the government announced to speed up the rollout of talking therapies is a tiny fraction of the£75bn the Bank of England quantitatively eased into the economy last week, let alone the NHS’s£100bn budget for next year.
The Observer put the story on its front page, aiming for the economic meltdown angle with ''fears of a depression and anxiety epidemic". But by the time it reached Monday’s Daily Telegraph, ''recession depression'' had become a cipher for all that is wrong with modern Britain.
Inside the paper, columnist Nick Ferrari complained: ''The saddest truth of this woeful initiative is that it will be almost universally welcomed by a nation whose once proud stiff upper lip is now curled ever tighter around the feeding bottle of benefits.''
Further entrenching his own depression the columnist reminded himself of all the council housing ''offered as a reward for girls who spend their time in assorted bedrooms instead of classrooms''. Still, NHS managers will have been reassured to read that despite such squander, ''there’s no shortage of our [taxpayers’] money sloshing around the public coffers''.
But is all this ''slosh'' (still only£13m) really necessary? The Department of Health says the services will be available by 2010. Page 145 of the chancellor’s pre-Budget report clearly says the recession will be over by then.
The government cannot win on cervical cancer either. TheIndependent on Sunday criticised it for stopping routine screening in under-25s. Perhaps a mass vaccination programme is the solution? Perhaps not – the Daily Mail tells us that 1,300 of the 700,000 who had the flu jab last year (that’s 0.2 per cent) ''experienced adverse reactions'' – mainly rashes. "Some"even had convulsions. Further inside, it turns out that means four.