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Newsletter     February 2000

Burns in the News

The combination of the millennium celebrations and the rapid growth of the Internet as a source of information, may account for the increasing interest in Scottish Culture, and the ever-strong interest in Burns. This culminated in this years coverage of The Bard reaching unprecedented levels of media attention. 

Technology clearly allows greater access to information and the internet is playing a large part in making Burns a focal point of Scottish Culture throughout the world. It was therefore very interesting to watch how the traditional media - The Press, looked to compete in their coverage of the subject. 

Until recent years, newspapers and magazines in Scotland, on the whole presented the "traditional" face of Burns. Previously, during the last week of January, coverage aimed principally at the domestic market was often restricted to the usual diatribe of cosmetic Burns. (who he was, his fame, a few quotations & lashings of Haggis etc) This year however was very different with a plethora of quality articles on diverse subjects such as - 

Burns strong links with freemasonry - an article suggesting that "the role of Freemasonry in Burns life has been largely ignored" went on to discuss how Freemasonry influenced Burns. Burns was an enthusiastic Freemason of that there is no doubt. He intended to emigrate to Jamaica following his "interaction" with Jean Armour when she fell pregnant by him.  Burns friend and fellow Mason, John Wilson (printer in Kilmarnock) agreed in typical "brother like" fashion to publish Rabbie's work, which history now recognises as the famous Kilmarnock Edition. The financing of the venture was underwritten by other "brother" freemasons of the same lodge. The successful publication of the Kilmarnock edition proved to be the catalyst of Burns success. As such, the article concluded that freemasonry played a critical part in Burns fame, without which, we may never have heard of him !  (Scotland on Sunday 23/1/00)

Burns on the Internet - ridiculous articles suggesting that the Internet could be used as a means of making Burns more accessible to a worldwide audience ! Well I'll be darned.that's an idea ! !  Where have these journalists been? Wake up .. The World Burns Club is here !

  An article in one of Scotland's quality Newspapers, presenting the worldwide participation in Burns Suppers as a recognised phenomenon. It then went on to question the spread of other ethnic groups, cultures and identities throughout the globe and how these groups keep their identities intact. The use of the internet as a positive medium was again sighted with the conclusion of the article rightly highlighting the need in Scotland to spread the word "beyond the yearly Burns Supper"     (Sunday Herald 23/1/00)

 So what do you think? What do you want to read about Burns?    How do you think his life and work should be promoted? Please let us know your thoughts - E-mail 

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