Johnson Co. residents say their anti-fracking ads won't run - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Johnson Co. residents say their anti-fracking ads won't run

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A newspaper is under fire after residents say it stopped publishing any and all anti-fracking advertisements.

Some say they're completely blacked out of local print media - The Vienna Times and Goreville Gazette.

They say up until last Friday, their advertisements were even an issue.

But after 8,000 inserts that opposed fracking were tossed in the trash without warning, they're left with a lot of questions.

Last year, Johnson County residents that are opposed to fracking successfully got a referendum on the ballot.

"We trudge ahead from here," said one resident.

The group wants residents to educate themselves on fracking before checking "yes" or "no" on the March ballot.

"We just want to get the word out to people and they can make up their own mind and then the commissioners can hear whether the people in the county really want it or not," said Phyllis Oliver.

But, according to some people, the county's only two local publications stopped printing ads and inserting fliers opposing fracking without warning while continuing to run headlines and ads which support fracking.

"The ones that want fracking in the county, to have that go out frequently are changing people's minds," said Nancy Kossack.

"They pretty much just blacked us out; they won't publish letters to the editor," said Kris Pirmann.

With just two weeks until the March 18 vote, some people haven't given up educating their neighbors.

Going door-to-door and holding meetings to get their message out.

"It is just going to require more footwork without having cooperation of the newspapers," said Pirmann.

Three of the county's commissioners have the final say, the ballot question is there to gauge where the public stands on the topic.

After numerous attempts to contact the paper's Publisher, our calls and e-mails went unanswered.

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