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 five decades. She is Editor of the Editorial and Opinion pages for Newsday, 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.


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.


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.


Amanda Fiscina-Wells Editor, Platforms and Strategy

Amanda Fiscina-Wells uses digital tools to amplify the board’s message online and to connect with readers. A lifelong Long Islander, she left Massapequa for Fordham University, but returned after graduation to work for local weekly papers and She escaped again 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.


Dan Janison Editorial Writer

Dan Janison has reported, edited, and written columns for Newsday since 1997, first from New York City and later from Long Island. News beats have included the New York State Capitol and City Hall, and reporting on big events included the 9/11 attacks as well as campaigns for president, governor and mayor. In cyberspace he wrote and helped curate the SpinCycle and 1600 features from the newsroom. Prior to Newsday he worked at several other New York newspapers. He appreciates the ironical point of view and has been known to indulge in it from time to time.


Thomas Maier Editorial Writer

Thomas Maier joined Newsday in 1984 and was an award-winning investigative reporter for many years. He is the author of seven books, including “Masters of Sex’, made into a Showtime television drama, and “Mafia Spies”, a six-part Paramount+ documentary series appearing in early 2024. Maier has won the national Sigma Delta Chi Award twice, National Headliners Award, Worth Bingham Award and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Daniel Pearl Award. in 2022 he won the New York Press Club Award for the third year in a row and won a NY Emmy for a documentary about an innocent man imprisoned for 33 years. In 2022, he won the Columbia University Journalism School Alumni Award for career achievement.

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 17-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.


Nirmal Mitra News Editor

Nirmal Mitra joined the editorial board in July 2021 and handles copyediting, and digital and print production. He migrated as a midcareer journalist from India after his reporting on child labor, police atrocities and social and political ills in India won him a scholarship at the United Nations and then a Reuter/Knight Fellowship at Stanford. Three years covering the UN and the Indian American community for NYC-based weekly India Abroad proved an invaluable experience: He worked with retired editors from The New York Times, and eventually took the plunge into mainstream American journalism, starting with the Poughkeepsie Journal, where he joined as assistant news editor on the night desk. Then followed stints at the Times Herald-Record in Middletown and at the Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, where he won a Rising Star award for his editing of storm coverage and other enterprise stories. A sojourn at the Asbury Park Press, New Jersey, preceded his move to Newsday’s short-lived Newsday Westchester website covering the Hudson Valley in 2012, and eventually to Newsday’s copy desk in Melville, where he won a Deadline Club second-place award for headline writing. He worked as interim real estate editor during the pandemic directing coverage during a crucial period for the Long Island real estate market. Nirmal is an avid sketcher, works mostly with pen and watercolor and has done illustrations for several newspapers.


Karthika NamboothiriData Solutions Journalist

Karthika Namboothiri is the Data Solutions Journalist at the editorial board and can almost always be found scouring for interesting data and maps. She started her career as a business reporter at Reuters in her home-country India and fell in love with the possibility of finding stories hidden in the numbers she was staring at every day. This prompted her to move to New York in the middle of the pandemic to pursue a master’s degree in data journalism at Columbia University where she was a recipient of the Shobhana Bhartia Fellowship. After graduating in 2021, Karthika worked at the graphics desk at The San Diego Union-Tribune in sunny California and reported on wildfires, local droughts and housing woes, before heading back east to join Newsday in 2023. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring museums and reinventing vegan food recipes.