February 6, 2009

Condo board fines ‘news’ site operators

The two proprietors of a Web site at Chicago's Marina City towers have been fined for claiming to be the official source for the condo complex's news.

Michael Michalak, a real estate broker inside the towers and the sole advertiser for the Marina City Online Web site, and Steven Dahlman, a former radio reporter and the site's author, were each fined $1,000 by the condo board for promoting the site as the official news of the towers, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Members of the board, which is a frequent target of the site, have also banned the men from posting video of their monthly meetings to the Web site.

There's nothing fair and impartial about (Dahlman's) reporting whatsoever; nothing even close to fact, Donna Leonard, board president and an attorney for the Illinois secretary of state, told the Tribune.

Neighbors offered varying opinions about Marina City Online.

(Dahlman) does a good job of just reporting the facts and leaving his opinion out of it, said long-time reader Sheri Fassl, who has called Marina City home for 10 years.

Mike Ruggeri, another frequent reader, said the Web site offers minimal news value. It's not complete enough yet, Ruggeri said to the Tribune. It has a long way to go.