Newsday has launched nextLI, a digital community and toolbox created for research and conversation aimed at shaping the future of Long Island.
“Our mission for over 77 years has always been to connect Long Islanders. This digital forum will allow those conversations to continue on a deeper level, while engaging a new platform,” said Rita Ciolli, director of the nextLI project.
This project will allow Newsday’s editorial board engage more deeply with its community. Informed by emerging engagement initiatives at publications around the nation, nextLI will help the opinion department pivot from its traditional slate of editorials, commentary and letters to the editor. This experiment envisions a future for editorial boards as the convener of ongoing conversations, one which will as many voices as possible to shape the debate.
“nextLI will be a resource for Long Islanders who are invested in the future of our region. We’re excited to connect passionate folks from all of the communities that make up Long Island, and especially those whose voices haven’t always been a part of the civic discourse” said Sam Guzik, Newsday Opinion, editor of platform and strategy.
Beyond the research initiatives, nextLI will also offer Long Islanders the opportunity to share their stories about life in the region, to discuss the future and foster consensus around ways to make the region competitive, affordable and welcoming.
“All resources compiled by nextLI will be freely available to all Long Islanders. On an island defined by fragmented communities, we want to encourage people to join us on this platform to help create a digital town hall because we live here too,” said Amanda Fiscina, research and digital production manager, Newsday Opinion.
This unique project will be managed by Newsday’s opinion department, which is completely independent from its news gathering operations, with input from an advisory board made up of Long Islanders.
nextLI is taking over the job of gathering and presenting regional data of importance to Long Island, which has been performed by the Long Island Index for the past 15 years, a signature project of The Rauch Foundation. It will carry on the tradition of producing and publishing high caliber research and information that is essential to understanding Long Island’s regional challenges, while creating an innovative digital platform for civic engagement. Last year, The Rauch Foundation decided to seek new ownership of the Index, offering up a $1.5 million charitable grant over three years to its successor. They received more than 10 responses to their request for proposals and considered three. The Foundation considered Newsday’s proposal to be the most innovative and viable.