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In a post today, Allan D. Mutter, a nationally respected press critics who shares his views on a blog dubbed Reflections of a Newsosaur, takes notice of the Rocky Mountain News website -- which not many other folks have done lately, and for good reason.
In the piece, headlined "How Long Should Dead Paper Linger on Web?," Mutter points out that the Rocky's site looks precisely as it did at the time of its closure. And while it registered 132,000 visitors in June despite being static, it's "fallen off the radar" since then. "There it sits, frozen in time, evoking an awkward mawkishness that ill becomes the proud men and women who made the Rocky the hard-charging paper it was," he declares, adding, "When does a newspaper get to rest in peace?" John Temple, the Rocky's former editor, publisher and president, is clearly unhappy about the situation, too, writing in a blog of his own, that ex-Rocky owner E.W. Scripps is treating the paper like "a junk yard" and should at least inform visitors what's being done with the site.
Problem is, Scripps has kept that information to itself for months. The firm stated that it would be selling the domain name and intellectual property prior to the Rocky's shuttering -- and in March, Texas investor Brian Ferguson publicly announced that he would be bidding for these assets. In June, Scripps confirmed that the paper's archives would be going to the Denver Public Library along with assorted historic artifacts, which have begun showing up in recent weeks -- and two sources confirmed that the company had begun reaching out to potential bidders. Since then, however, there's been radio silence, at least officially. Moments ago, I left a voicemail message and sent an e-mail message asking Scripps spokesman Tim King for an update; I'll provide one in this space when he replies. In the meantime, though, the Rocky's site continues to collect dust, or at least the cyberspace equivalent.