14 - Edutainment

‘Entertainment that is designed to promote knowledge and learning’ (Moss, 2009, p.248)

Date of Article


Title / Headline



3rd February, 2017

BBC NewsWhy are fewer people visiting UK museums and galleries?

Figures released by the Museums Association, show a fall in visitor numbers to UK museums and galleries in 2016, the first fall in 10 years, this has partly been attributed to security fears over terrorism.
7th September, 2016

Heritage Lottery FundState of U.K. Public Parks 2016Report about Britain's public parks, which reveals amongst other things that parks are being used by more people, but resources to manage them are in decline.

22nd April, 2016

The Guardian'No sketching': V&A signs betray everything the museum stands for

Article about the decision by the Victoria & Albert museum in London to ban visitors from sketching exhibits, this is not due to concerns over copyright or intellectual property, it is a decision that has been made to facilitate visitor flow within the museum.

17th March, 2016

Sky NewsSeaWorld ends killer whale breeding programme

News article about the anouncement by SeaWorld to end the captive orca breeding program and phase out theatrical orca shows. This is partly due to pressure on the company since the release of Blackfish.
19th February, 2016Apollo Magazine

Are the cracks in our museum culture beginning to show?

Article exploring the challenges faced by museums in England outside of London, where funding is being drastically reduced due largely to reductions in funding to local authorities.
31st January, 2016BBC News

Cash concerns for England's Anglican cathedrals

Article highlighting the challenges faced by Cathedrals in their running and upkeep, and the need for some to diversify the business side of their operation, including hiring out areas as 'venue' spaces, whilst at the same time needing to remain places of religious worship.

18th January, 2016

Daily News

Hike in admission fees in Turkey raises concernArticle exploring charging admission prices to visit museums and historic sites in Turkey, which has priced some out of the reach of locals, turning them into luxury items for wealthier people and tourists.

24th September, 2014

BBC NewsArt show Exhibit B called off after racism protestsNews story about an art exhibition 'Exhibit B' featuring black human cast members at the Barbican in London, being closed due to protests that it was racist, something denied by those involved with the exhibition. (The second link is a further discussion into this).

19th July, 2014BBC The Travel Show

Auschwitz fights back against vandalismFeature highlighting irresponsible tourist practices at the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum and steps being taken to combat them.
9th May, 2014

BBC NewsLean forward: Visitors brave Chicago skyscraper's tilting platform

Edutainment meets thrillertainment at the John Hancock Center in Chicago - one of the tallest buildings in the USA, where a city viewing platform on the 94th floor now features windows that move and tilt to an angle of 30 degrees, enhancing the visitor experience beyond education with a thrilling edge.
24th April, 2014

BBC NewsAstrotourism skyrockets in ChileFeature about the growth of Astronomy related tourism in Chile, where clear skies and little light pollution are attracting audiences from far and wide. (See here for definition of astrotainment).

15th March, 2014BBC The Travel Show

Battle for tourists at Niagara FallsVideo feature exploring initiatives by US tourism authorities to attract more visitors to Niagara Falls on the US side of the Falls, which receives half the number of tourists than the Canadian side.

10th February, 2014Johnson BanksAre museums waking up to branding? (the transcript)

Feature discussing the need for museums to adopt branding strategies as an essential aspect of their promotion, along with good practice examples of how this can effectively be achieved.
6th February, 2014

The GuardianThe future of museums in ChinaBlog feature discussing the challenges faced by museums in China, that have high costs and low audiences, with many facing an uncertain future.

9th December, 2013

BBC News

Dark sky status awarded to Northumberland park area

News story about Northumberland National Park and Kielder Water and Forest Park being granted dark sky status by the International Dark Skies Association, meaning that they are recognised as areas where astrotourists may gaze at the night skies engaged by the astrotaining spectacle of millions of stars above them.
7th October, 2013 BBC News

Ace cafe with quite a nice ancient monument attached?

Feature about the need for heritage and cultural attractions to maximise their visitor spend through the addition of ancillary facilities such as cafes and gift shops.
1st October, 2013

BBC News Museums 'ditch staff for volunteers'

News story following a survey by the Museum's association, which reveals that in British museums there is a growing tendency to employ volunteers and student interns rather than paid employees. This is at a time when museum visitations are at an all-time high, but when school visits are down by 31%.

6th April, 2013

The Guardian

Museum shops cash in with sales reaching a record £100m a year

Feature exploring how museum's in the UK have been forced to embrace income generation through retail opportunities in the face of Government spending cuts.


31st October, 2012

BBC News

Sistine Chapel ceiling at 500: The Vatican's dilemma

Feature exploring the genuine issue of too many visitors being allowed into an attraction that is sensitive to visitor numbers, and may in future need to limit numbers. Whilst this feature is based upon the Sistine chapel, this is a real issue facing numerous attractions worldwide, and calls for shred best practice on visitor management.
24th October, 2012

The Globe and Mail Is China building too many museums too fast?

Feature exploring China's current boom in museum growth, particularly art museums, which may see supply significantly outstrip demand.
24th September, 2012

BBC News Slum tourism: Patronising or social enlightenment? Feature exploring the phenomenon of slum tourism, whereby visitors to less developed countries, visit slum areas or areas of poverty, for educational voyeurism. Some inhabitants of these areas claim that the visitors do not bring any benefits with them.

24th August, 2012

BBC Religion & Ethics

Can city cemeteries be nature reserves?

News story about the decision by Manchester city council to give Southern Cemetery - the largest cemetery in the UK official nature reserve status. This raises a moral question around tourist and leisure seekers visiting a graveyard for reasons other than paying respects.
13th July, 2012 BBC News

Has art gallery boom paid off?

Feature exploring how new art galleries in Britain have helped to regenerate inner cities and brown belt land.
11th June, 2012

BBC News The rise of genocide memorials

Feature exploring the rise of genocide memorials and visitor attractions around the globe, along with the concept of 'dark tourism'.

9th June, 2012

BBC News Angkor Wat: Fears over increase in visitor numbers

News video highlighting concerns of damage to ancient Cambodian structures and their surrounding areas through increased visitor numbers, which indicates a need for a clear visitor management strategy.

24th April, 2012

The Independent Genocide visit or murder tour? 'Dark tourism' hits the mainstream

Article exploring the meaning of dark tourism - the visitation of sites associated with death and suffering by tourists. 
27th March, 2012

BBC News Napoleon... the theme park

Feature exploring whether an educational theme park based upon the lie of Napoleon could work in France.
23rd March, 2012

BBC News Louvre in Paris tops most visited art venue poll

News story about the world's top ten most visited museums.
6th March 2012

Maurice Davies: Blog Going green

Discussion feature around the need and recognition of museums to adopt greater green practices in England, particularly now that funding bodies are using green initiatives in selection criteria as to which organisations receive funding.

1st December, 2011

BBC News Free museums: Visits more than double British government-sponsored museums that stopped charging since 2001 have seen combined visitor rates more than double in the past decade, figures show. Almost 18 million people visited the 13 attractions in 2010-11, compared with 7 million in 2000-01.

1st December, 2011

Department for Culture, Media & Sport

Ten years of free museums

Visitor numbers at Britain’s national museums have reached a record high ten years after the beginning of the landmark policy of providing free access to national museums.

Eight of the top ten UK visitor attractions are free DCMS-sponsored national museums and about 18 million visits are made every year to museums and galleries that used to charge an entrance fee.

1st December, 2011 BBC News Museums enjoy 10 years of freedom

Feature that explores the effects of free entry into Britain's national museums and galleries.

10th October, 2011

BBC News

Googling the ghosts of Montparnasse cemetery

Feature exploring the use of mobile technology to learn about people buried in a Parisien graveyeard, highlighting an example of how technology can help a dark tourism activity to become more of an educational entertainment experience.

13th September, 2011

BBC News

Hitler's Atlantic wall: Should France preserve it?

Discussion feature highlighting recent attempts to preserve the World war II German Atlantic wall, fortifications that stretched from the South of France to Scandinavia. The article looks at the rationale for preserving a symbol of France's oppression in World war II.


12th September, 2011

BBC News

Maze prison opens its doors to the public

Case study highlighting the opening of a new dark tourism educational visitor attraction in Northern Ireland, in what was the Maze Prison.


20th July, 2011
Museums Association
UK museums hit by devastating cuts

Summary of a report by the Museums Association, which reveals that museums have had their incomes cut by 25%.
12th July, 2011
BBC News
Who; What; Why: Is whale watching harmful to whales?
News article debating the international whale watching industry, said to be worth $2.1bn annually, in the light of possible harm and distress caused to whales by boats being driven too close to them.

11th July, 2011
BBC News

Should councils cash in on art?

Feature debating whether British local councils in the face of huge funding cuts, should sell the prized art works that they possess for their public galleries.

20th April, 2011
BBC News
Leadership role for the National Archives

News story about the National Archives being given responsibility for the UK's archive sector following the closure of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

18th March, 2011

Computer games become a class act

Discussion feature about the increasing use of computer game technology to enthuse children during lessons.

30th January, 2011
Liverpool's 'tremendous biography needs to be told'
Story behind the Museum of Liverpool, which is due to open in July 2011.

28th January, 2011
A point of view: Why are museums so uninspiring
Critique of museum content, layout and exhibits asking whether they are dead libraries for creations of the past.


10th January, 2011
Carcass photos force Knowsley Safari Park changes
News story highlighting a number of legal, ethical and moral issues associated with zoos, including the killing of animals surplus to requirements and safe disposal of carcasses.
 3rd January, 2011
Stargazing and dark sky tourism
Interest story about the phenomenon of dark sky tourism, where participants are looking for astrotainment.

14th October, 2010


Murder map plots history of homicide in London

News story highlighting the sensitivity of dark edutainment. In this article a 'Murder Map' of London has been created using Google Maps. This online tool, which could be used for both research and casual entertainment has been criticised as being 'insensitive' to victims' families.
4th October, 2010
Dolphins generate £4m a year to Scots economy
News article highlighting the positive economic impact of naturtainment in the tourism system, in this case by dolphin spotters.

5th September, 2010


Adverts on Rome's Colosseum to help fund repairs?

News video about the need for revenue to be generated to help fund repairs of the Colosseum in Rome. one suggested solution is to place advertising on the Colosseum.


11th July, 2010
Easter Island set for total solar eclipse
News story that demonstrates the phenomenon of Astrotainment.
8th July, 2010
Museums part with the past in collections revamp
Interest story about the dilemma over storage, which is faced by many museums, and how they are overcoming this.

 2nd July, 2010
Dolphin 'superpod' seen by wildlife spotters off Skye
Video and interest story that demonstrates the phenomenon of naturtainment on a guided nature tour.

28th June, 2010
Tate unveils fighter jet artwork
News story about an unusual display of two decommissioned military aircraft being used as art exhibits at the Tate Britain gallery.

 7th June, 2010


 A librarian takes on Google Books

Blog article about the National Library of Wales and how it is competing in the digital age.

29th May, 2010


Greece urges return of sculptures

 News article regarding Britain's acquisition of sculptures from Greece's Acropolis, and the demand for their return. The pieces in question are at The British Museum, who long argued that Greece had no proper place to put them - an argument the Greek government hopes the country's newly opened Acropolis Museum addresses.



26th May, 2010


Colosseum to open underground doors

News video about subterranean cells and tunnels beneath Rome's Colosseum amphitheatre being opened to the public for the first time. This demonstrates product expansion an attempt to attract further visitors.


24th May, 2010

Times Online

Charles Saatchi and the new art generation

News article about the collector and contemporary-art king-maker trying to create a new buzz of the kind that first surrounded the Young British Artists.


23rd May, 2010


Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth: Victory launches with a lot of bottle

News article about how a replica of Lord Nelson's ship Victory, set inside a giant bottle and made by artist Yinka Shonibare, is the latest addition to the fourth plinth in London's Trafalgar Square.


21st September, 2009

The Stage

Hurrah! New work for infant audiences

News article about new, imaginative theatrical work for under-6s, arguably the most important and certainly the most challenging audience of all as the M6 Theatre Company’s One Little Word begins its national tour next month.


17th August, 2009


Banksy visitors overwhelm gallery

News article about how almost a quarter-of-a-million people have filed through Banksy's homecoming exhibition since it opened in June.


17th July, 2009


Germany opens 'Nazi' gnome case

News article about a garden gnome giving the Nazi salute has landed a German artist in trouble with the authorities in Nuremberg.


24th April, 2009


Changing Cityscapes: Manchester

News story and accompanying videos about how the UK's cities have changed dramatically in recent decades.


2nd March, 2009


Gruesome gallery exposed online

News article: Leech jars, early attempts at reconstructive surgery and nerve-jangling surgical instruments are going online in a Science Museum display.


23rd February, 2009


Museum lovers' social networking

News article about how museum visitors will be able to share their cultural passions in a social networking website.


27th January, 2009


Cash crisis threat to Auschwitz

News story and accompanying videos of how the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, where more than a million people were killed in World War II, faces an uncertain future.


31st October, 2008


Muslim artist gets death threats

News article about a Muslim artist exhibiting her work at a west London gallery, has received death threats via email.


29th October, 2008


Jarvis Cocker to try new form of 'edutainment' at gigs

News article about the former Pulp frontman claiming that lectures and 'a disco' will form part of future gigs. Could we be looking at Disco 2009?


10th October, 2008


Banksy opens bizarre 'pet shop'

News video about British graffiti artist Banksy opening his first official exhibition in New York. Set inside a fake pet store, works such as a robotic monkey and fish-fingers swimming in a goldfish bowl aim to question the relationship between human beings and animals.


21st August, 2008


What are bridges for these days?

News story of how no longer solely in the business of getting people from A to B across a waterway, bridges are now also about putting a place on the map and kick-starting wider investment.


2nd August, 2008


Honecker's nuclear bunker opens

News article and accompanying video about a once-secret bunker designed to shield communist rulers of the former East Germany from a nuclear attack has opened to the public.


5th May, 2008


Preview of Acropolis Museum

News video about the new Acropolis museum, chairman Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis gives the BBC's Malcolm Brabant a special tour around Greece's newest museum.


4th May, 2008


War tunnels opened in France

News video about the tunnels under the French town of Arras, which were used by the British army as an underground hideout during World War I, has been opened to the public.


1st May, 2008


Calves a handful for rangers

News video of a herd of 17 Chinese deer calves born at Knowsley Safari Park proving to be a handful for the park's rangers.


30th April, 2008


Singles nights offered at library

News article: what was once the preserve of the nightclub before pubs, bingo halls and supermarkets got in on the act is now being tried out in Swansea, once a month Friday night is singles' night at the city's main library.


17th March, 2008

Euro weekly news

Artist Guillermo Vargas – Habacuc: A Starving Dog is Not Art

News article about how a number of emails have been doing the rounds, condemning the actions of the artist, Guillermo Vargas ‘Habacuc’.


25th October, 2007


Balkan heartbreak a hit in Berlin

News article regarding a travelling exhibition devoted to the theme of failed relationships is proving a hit in Berlin.


26th September, 2007


Sir Elton owns 'porn probe' photo

News article regarding a photograph in the Saatchi Gallery at the centre of a child pornography investigation belongs to Sir Elton John, his website states.


15th September, 2007


Cardinal in 'Nazi art term' row

News article about how a German archbishop has sparked controversy by calling some modern art "degenerate" - a term used by the Nazi regime in its persecution of artists.   


29th August, 2007


Major grants for English museums

News article about how London's National Portrait Gallery and Liverpool's National Museums are among 43 English museums and galleries to benefit from grants totalling £4m.


11th July, 2007


UK computer history gets new home

News article about plans taking shape to set up a museum that celebrates Britain's role in the origins of the digital age.


3rd April, 2007


UK galleries offered £5m art fund

News piece about how regional UK galleries and museums are being offered a slice of a new £5m fund to buy more foreign contemporary art.


6th October, 2006


Parental warning for Saatchi show

News article about a new modern art exhibition by collector Charles Saatchi being given a parental guidance warning.


26th September, 2006


Bid to acquire key art collection

News piece about how the National Gallery of Scotland is to join forces with the Tate in London in a bid to buy a key UK art collection.


18th September, 2006


Banksy's elephant provokes anger

News article about an exhibition by headline-grabbing UK artist Banksy has been criticised for including a live painted elephant.


16th August, 2006


Download the Cotswold Churches audio tour.

Watch the sample video to get you inspired and then download the entire audio tour and transfer it onto your MP3 player to enable you to follow the route for yourself.   


25th July, 2006


Tate Modern unveils growth plans

News piece about London's Tate Modern art complex unveiling plans to add a £215m glass building, which will increase the size of its exhibition space by 60%.


24th July, 2006


Artist's dream for maze of colour

News article about how the deaths of two women on an inflatable sculpture are in horrific contrast to artist Maurice Agis' vision for a maze of colour and sound.


3rd November, 2005


New media 'help toddlers learn'

News article of how parents think electronic media can help children under the age of six to learn vital skills, research suggests.