Present day Indian TV Journalism Here's how the Indian TV news channels would report the 'Jack and Jill' nursery rhyme. All names (except those of Jack and Jill), are fictitious.

Prashant - TV Anchor: Two persons have been injured in a freak climbing accident. Jack and his companion Jill had gone up a hill to fetch a pail of water when Jack fell down and broke his crown. Jill came tumbling after. Live from the hill, our reporter, Amrita Shah, takes up the story.

Amrita Shah: Thank you Prashant. Well, as you say, two persons - Jack and Jill - had gone up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Suddenly, Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Prashant.

Prashant: Thank you Amrita. What do we know about the hill?

Amrita: Not too much. Jack was going up the hill to fetch a pail of water when he fell down and broke his crown. Jill came tumbling after.

[Headline appears at the foot of the TV screen: "Hill breaks crown of pail-boy Jack"]

Prashant: What news of Jack and Jill?

Amrita: Prashant, it seems that Jack had gone up the hill to fetch a pail of water. We know nothing about the pail, or how heavy it was but it seems that Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. I have here with me, an eyewitness to the accident, Mr Shahid Trivedi. Mr Shahid, tell us what you saw.

Shahid Trivedi: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after.

[Headline appears at the foot of the TV screen: "Boy and girl tumble down hill. Water spilled"]

Amrita: Jack and Jill. What do we know about them? Are they brother and sister? Are they married? Just what were they doing on the hill together?

Shahid Trivedi: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail a water.

Amrita: And what happened next?

Shahid Trivedi: Jack fell down and broke his crown.

Amrita: Go on.

Shahid Trivedi: And Jill came tumbling after.

Amrita: Prashant, there you have it. Two people innocently going about their business to fetch a pail of water when one of them falls down, breaks his crown, and the other comes tumbling after. Back to you in the studio Prashant.

[Headline appears at the foot of the TV screen: "Water errand ends in tragedy"]

Prashant: I have with me in the studio now, Professor Chandrashekar Belagare from the Indian Institute of Applied Hill Sciences. Professor: a hill; Jack; Jill; a pail of water. A tragedy waiting to happen?

Professor: Well that depends on the hill, the two persons, the object they were carrying and the conditions underfoot. Let us look at the evidence so far.

Jack and Jill
Went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down
And broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.

Clearly, one would suspect that if Jack's fall was severe enough to break his crown then the surface of the hill must have been slippery or unstable. But I think we're overlooking something quite fundamental here. Who was carrying the pail? Jack fell down and broke his crown and - this is the key - Jill came tumbling after. If Jack and Jill had been carrying the pail together, would they not have fallen at the same time? The fact that Jill came tumbling after suggests that Jack lost his footing first and perhaps knocked Jill over as he slipped.

Prashant: Professor thank you very much. So there we have it, two persons - Jack and Jill - went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Later in the programme, Osama bin Laden captured in Afghanistan, President Bush says rent-boy menage-a-trois was "just a brief lapse of judgement", and Pakistan launches nuclear warheads against key Indian cities. But next up, join us after the break for a studio discussion about hills, boys and girls and whether water-fetching trips should be supervised.
We'll be right back...