Meet the Newsday Editorial Board
The editorial board strives to be a reasoned and pragmatic advocate for Long Island and its values. We have decades of combined experience covering local, national and international issues, and board members debate divisive topics daily before coming to a collective opinion in our editorials.
Rita Ciolli Editor
Rita F. Ciolli’s career at Newsday spans four decades. She is Editor of the Editorial and Opinion pages for Newsday and amNewYork, and as a leader in the organization she serves on the Executive Committee of Newsday Media Group. The Bronx girl began her career at Newsday as a summer intern in 1972. Two years later, during her senior year at Fordham University, she became a full-time reporter covering the Town of Hempstead. (And lately, she still is spending a lot of time covering the town.) After graduating from Georgetown Law in 1977, she returned to Newsday as a specialist on the legal beat, a smart decision because the love of her life was to be found in the paper’s Garden City office. In 1983, Ciolli was awarded a fellowship from The Alicia Patterson Foundation to take national the Newsday reporting she had done on the attempt by the Island Trees school district to ban nine books from its library. She has received multiple awards for her reporting and editorial writing. Ciolli’s assignments include almost a decade at Newsday’s Washington bureau assigned to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Department and FBI. After a long stint as a media and technology reporter, she was assigned to cover the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal. She joined the Editorial Board in 2005, and two years later took over as its head. Under her leadership, the board has expanded its digital and print offerings in addition to winning numerous awards. In 2013, Newsday’s editorials about the help Long Island needed after Superstorm Sandy’s devastation were recognized as finalists for the Pulitzer Prize.
Eli Reyes Deputy Editor
Eli Reyes joined the Newsday board in 2009 and is responsible, among other things, for the section’s opinion pieces. Eli returned to New York City after a four-year run at The Washington Post, where he was the Politics and Government editor for the newspaper’s Metro Section, overseeing political coverage of Washington, D.C., and the Virginia and Maryland State Houses, as well as the region’s Congressional delegation. Eli is Bronx-raised, and previously had a 12-year stint at Newsday, where he held several editing positions, including demographics editor and business editor before heading south to Washington, D.C.
Matt Davies Cartoonist
Matt Davies is Newsday’s Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist. He won the inaugural Herblock Prize a year after Herblock’s death, received the RFK journalism prize, a National Headliner Award and a bunch of other equally unexpected shiny professional affirmations. Reluctant to do the work of grown-ups, Davies is also a children’s book author and illustrator. Born in London in 1966, Davies emigrated to the United States with his mom, dad, sister and their dog in 1983, and has somehow not manage to completely shake his Brit accent. He studied illustration and fine art at The Savannah College of Art & Design (GA) and The School of Visual Arts in New York City. After a couple of vagabond NYC freelance years dreaming of a future as a notorious syndicated political cartoonist, he began drawing editorial cartoons full time for The Journal News in Westchester County in 1993, and never looked back. Matt moved to a sand bar on Long Island with his wife and children in 2016, and still gets hopelessly lost driving to Newsday’s offices.
Mark ChiusanoEditorial Writer
Mark Chiusano covers New York City as well as some state and national issues. You’re not going to get him too far from Brooklyn, where he was born and raised. Long Island’s just the right distance. He is the author of “Marine Park,” a collection of short stories that received an honorable mention for the PEN/Hemingway Award in 2015. He once played semi-professional baseball in Switzerland, mostly because the Mets weren’t interested.
Michael Dobie Editorial Writer
Michael Dobie joined the editorial board in 2013. He covers environmental issues, local government and local education, and a variety of national issues, writes about notable deaths ranging from John Glenn to Prince to Charles Manson, and produces occasional political-themed crossword puzzles for the board’s newsletter, The Point. He joined Newsday as a sports reporter in 1989 and became enterprise editor for sports in 2005. He moved to the local news desk in 2006 and served as education editor before coordinating the newspaper’s towns coverage. Dobie earned a B.A. in English from New York University, where he worked as an administrator before becoming a journalist.
Lane Filler Editorial Writer
Lane Filler joined the editorial board in 2010, and often covers state government, Nassau County, education, national politics, and whatever odd and quirky stuff he can get away with. The board mostly keeps him around because he is fluent in math. He previously covered the war in Iraq as an embedded reporter, has worked as a sports columnist, investigative reporter and feature writer. Filler received the Reason Foundation’s Bastiat Award in 2013.
Amanda Fiscina Research and Digital Production Manager
Amanda Fiscina handles the daily digital presence of the Opinion section, runs our social media accounts and coordinates The Point newsletter. On a futile quest to lose her Long Island accent, she left Massapequa for Fordham University, but returned after graduation to work for the local weekly papers and Patch.com. She escaped again a few years later to attend Columbia’s University’s Graduate School of Journalism and to work for Aol/Huffington Post Media Group in New York City, but missed the dramatic village and school board meetings and was back to work at Newsday in 2014. Her interests include running and reading on South Shore beaches and advocating for a healthy and smart future for the suburb that keeps pulling her back.
Sam Guzik Editor, Platforms and Strategy
Sam Guzik is the board’s editor for platforms and strategy. In that role, he works to use digital tools like video and interactive graphics to connect with readers and amplify the board’s message online. Sam was born and raised in Nassau County; although he lives in Queens, he only buys bagels on Long Island. Before joining the editorial board in 2012, he taught video production, data visualization and interactive design at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Washington University in St. Louis.
Randi F. Marshall Editorial Writer
Randi F. Marshall started at Newsday just weeks after college graduation more than 20 years ago, putting off unemployment to become a summer intern on the newspaper’s business desk. Lucky for her, Newsday decided to keep her around even after summer turned to fall. After a few years of writing about home ownership before she even owned a home, and covering what seemed like monthly bank mergers and hostile takeovers, Randi took a two-year break from journalism to attend graduate school, and she received her Master of Public Administration at Columbia University. But after realizing the public sector wasn’t for her, Randi returned to Newsday to cover the economy, biotechnology and a host of other business issues on Long Island and in New York City. After eight years on Newsday’s investigations team, where she found the most difficult part of her job was juggling parenthood, mortgage meltdowns and the future of the New York Islanders, Randi joined the editorial board in 2015. Randi’s other job is being mommy to a 13-year-old city kid, but in whatever spare time she has, she cheers for the Mets and the University of Pennsylvania Quakers, loves to read and explore the region, and enjoys all things Broadway and Disney.
Lawrence Striegel News Editor
Lawrence Striegel supervises the production of the opinion pages. He’s the last one out the door every night. Striegel has degrees in communication arts from Marist College, religious studies from the University of Dayton and journalism from Ohio State University. He came to Newsday in 1987 and worked on the features and news copy desks before joining the editorial board. Before coming to Newsday, he worked at the Poughkeepsie Journal, The Associated Press, Dayton Daily News and USA Today. He enjoys running races on Long Island.