Data journalism student produces outstanding assignment


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CTJT data journalism course student, Adrian Houghton, has produced an outstanding piece of coursework. In this assignment, Adrian was asked to integrate data with a hard news story.

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Data journalism student produces outstanding assignment

  1. 1. Adrian Houghton – CTJT data journalism course assignment Adrian Houghton – CTJT data journalism course assignment The number of civil partnerships formed in Britain rose last year for the first time since 2006. Provisional figures show that 6,269 ceremonies were held in 2010 - an increase of 1.4 per cent from the previous year. More than 46,000 services have now taken place in England, Wales and Scotland since their legalisation in December 2005. David Allison, of gay pressure group OutRage!, infers from this small change that the number of civil unions has stabilised. He said: "There was an initial splurge [starting in 2005] when everyone left the starting blocks at the same time. But it is one of these social events that has levelled off." In another first, women are entering into more civil partnerships than men. The graph below shows a breakdown by gender within the total number of services conducted for each year. In 2010, 51.1 per cent of ceremonies across Britain were between lesbian couples. Only five years before, this figure stood at 34 per cent. This feature is particularly evident in Wales where just 39.2 per cent of civil partners last year were male, according to the Office for National Statistics. Mr Allison believes that the finding is not a huge surprise. He added: "I think that women are happier to settle down more quickly. But I suppose that men, whether they are straight or gay, are still more inclined to play the field, as it were!" Civil partners are granted legal rights under the Civil Partnership Act 2004. These are similar to those awarded to married couples. However, the Act does not provide the opportunity for same-sex couples to marry. Andrew Copson, of the British Humanist Association, thinks that these new statistics illustrate an underlying attitude in society. He said: "Clearly they show a strong and increasing demand for legally recognised same-sex partnerships. That only strengthens the case for those partnerships to be equal to marriage."
  2. 2. Adrian Houghton – CTJT data journalism course assignment Across Britain, the figures reveal that 88.3 per cent of civil unions were held in England, as indicated by the map below. London was the region where the most partnerships were registered last year. As in 2009, it alone accounted for a quarter of all civil ceremonies in Britain. The local authorities with the highest number of services were Brighton and Hove, and the London borough of Westminster. This was despite respective dips of 2.6 per cent and 8.3 per cent from 2009. Meanwhile, an interesting contrast is seen in the Midlands. Although unions in the West increased by 15.7 per cent from the previous year, they dropped in the East by 7 per cent. Number of civil partnerships formed in Britain with a breakdown by gender, 2005-2010. 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Number (Thousands) Year Female Male
  3. 3. Adrian Houghton – CTJT data journalism course assignment Number of civil partnerships registered in 2010 within England (by London borough, metropolitan county, non-metropolitan county and unitary authority), Wales (by unitary authority) and Scotland (by council area).