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Students donate blood and time to save lives By Nikky Raney

Students donate blood and time to save lives
The participation of volunteers and donors during the fall 2010 blood drive made the event a success
By Nikky Raney
            The Husson University Blood Drive was sponsored by campus radio station WHSN 89.3 and the America Red Cross on Monday, September 13, 2010.
            Marlon Weaver, New England School of Communications senior, was appointed organizer of the event by WHSN's Mark Nason.
            As a member of the Maine Army National Guard, Weaver was more than willing to volunteer his time for the American Red Cross.
            "Bottom line is [donating blood] saves lives, and that is important to me," Weaver says.
            There were many students who volunteered their time during this event, but the student who stands out most to Weaver is Anna Levesque, Husson freshman.
            "She really helped get the ball rolling. She was a last minute volunteer, showed up early, and organized multiple stations." Weaver continues, "Anna had such high energy, and she even came back after class to volunteer more."
            Levesque had previously volunteered for a blood drive during her senior year of high school, which made her eager to help out. She explains her duties as a volunteer:
            "As a volunteer I helped with the sign in process by reading the packets with the donors and determining eligibility. I escorted the donors off the table when they were done donating blood and I brought them to the canteen station. Volunteering makes me feel good."
            She was very happy by the turnout saying, "There were over 70 donors, mostly students, and it went really well. I wasn't able to donate since there wasn't enough time left, but I hope to next time."
            Decker Lenard, NESCom sophomore, was a first time blood donor who used this opportunity to find out his blood type.
            Lenard realized that donating blood was not as simple as just signing in, sitting down and having blood taken.
            "After signing up the doctors came and set me up in a tent. I was asked a lot of questions and after saying 'no' enough times I was placed on a table. My arm was disinfected and then I laid there as they took a pint of my blood. That took about seven minutes and immediately afterwards I was taken to the snack area where I ate Cheez-Its."
            In some cases the donating process does not go so smoothly, but in the event that someone feels as though he or she may pass out or become sick the volunteers and American Red Cross members are able to take care of the situation.
            Mike Dumont, Husson junior, donated last fall and recalls an instance where a volunteer had to ring the bell when a donor was about to pass out.
            “The volunteer just rang the bell for the donor and all of the sudden all of the people that are there with the Red Cross just rushed over to the donor.”
            Allegra Boyd, Husson sophomore, is a frequent donor who has experience with having to ring the bell.
            “I can tell when I am about to pass out - I tell the volunteer and then the volunteer dings the bell."
            Boyd has her own routine that she follows every time she donates.
            "Giving blood for me was pretty standard. Whenever I give blood quickly I get cold and have a headache. I usually donate really fast - most people take between six and 11 minutes, while I take about five. I keep my feet up while I donate and usually take a little extra time adjusting before walking over to the canteen." Boyd explains.
            Although giving blood may not be an easy process for her, Boyd feels good knowing her blood could save someone's life.
            "This time giving blood was easily the best reaction I've ever had. Even though I do sometimes react badly I don't intend to stop donating any time soon."

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Blood Drive to be posted By Nikky Raney

My next post will be an article about the Husson University Blood Drive. It was good and felt refreshing to go out and get interviews first hand as well as doing all the research as a first account. Although I am a paid blogger I am a journalist at heart and my career is set to journalism. Blogging is a great job to have, and writing blogs is enjoyable - and I will soon be able to include articles along with blogs. Also with blogging it gets my name out there and allows more opportunities for interviews and being able to get stories. The biggest difference with blogging and reporting is that when blogging most of the information is gathered second hand. Blogging is also lenient with opinions and such - but blogs are able to deliver news. I am looking forward to writing more articles that I will be able to post on the blogs that I write for.

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Google News & Zennie62

I just thought that I would mention that Zennie62 is apart of Google News; meaning that the blog posts show up on Google News & reach a large audience.

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VMA Predictions from Nikky Raney

Nikky Raney's predictions for the 2010 MTV VMAs.

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Nikky Raney Quick Vlog Update

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Obituary Writing By Nikky Raney

Sierra and Nikky
My class assignment most recently was to write an obituary of one of my classmates. Of course, I chose my  best friend Sierra. It is really quite morbid to write an obituary for your friend - and even more strange being interviewed for your own obituary.

I have actually written an obituary which was published in Foster's Daily Democrat. The obituary was for my Apung (Tagalog for Grandfather) Pidong. I requested to write it instead of the reporters, because when a family member writes it it is more personal. The paper was lucky that I am a journalist, and the obituary met standards. It's easy to understand why papers prefer to not have family members write the obituary.

Anyway, here is the obituary I wrote for Sierra. I will be passing this in at 5 p.m.
Obviously not all the information is factual. I have deleted some of the information to ensure the privacy of Sierra. In the actual assignment the information is included - but I didn't find it to be necessary for the outside world. I did not include any photos within the obituary, because I think that when her real obituary is written there will be a photo from when she is older.

Sierra Lynn Blanchard-Bruce dies at 96
By Nikky Raney
            Sierra Lynn Blanchard-Bruce, 96, a long-time resident Orlando, Florida died on August 23 at Florida Hospital in Orlando.
            Born in ######### on March 2, 1990, Sierra spent the early years of her life in ######### with her parents Scott and Lisa Blanchard and her younger sister Katie.
            Sierra participated in Girl Scouts and Upward Bound before graduating from Valley High School; she spent a semester at the University of Maine and then transferred to New England School of Communications in Bangor Maine. She went on to receive her Bachelor's Degree in Communications spring of 2013.
Sierra and Nikky
            Sierra was offered a job as a reporter for Teen Vogue fashion magazine and was relocated to New York City. In 2015 at the age of 25 Sierra married her college sweetheart Colin Bruce at Central Park and then took a quick honeymoon to Aruba.
            Sierra continued to work as a fashion reporter for Teen Vogue and traveled around Europe visiting Italy, France, Spain and England. Colin had joined the Coast Guard, and the two were very wrapped up in their careers.
            Sierra relocated with her husband to San Diego, California after Sierra gave birth to Peyton in 2017. Sierra became a stay at home mom and took care of her son. Three years later Sierra gave birth to Amelia.
            During the time she stayed home with the children Sierra grew fond of photography. Her passion grew and she was constantly taking photographs of her children and soon was getting requests to take photos in more professional settings. She went back to school and continued to take courses to pursue this hobby.
            In 2030, at age 40, Sierra received her degree in Photojournalism at San Diego State University. Colin had left the Coast Guard and was working as a freelance sport's reporter.
            Sierra started her own photography business in 2034 which she named Sierra's Shots. Sierra was hired to photograph many celebrity weddings as well as fashion events. Her connections from when she worked at Teen Vogue helped her really get her photography business booming.
            Sierra and Colin moved to Orlando, Florida at age 75 to retire. Peyton and Amelia joined together to continue with Sierra's Shots in San, Diego while raising families of their own.
            Sierra became a widow in late 2070 when Colin died in a motorcycle accident at Daytona Beach at age 80. Sierra moved in with Katie and her husband George Drake and their daughter Ashlyn.
            Sierra spent the later years of her life scrap booking and baking goodies for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She strongly believed, "Life isn't about finding yourself, but about creating yourself."
            Those who knew Sierra best will always remember her for being funny, spontaneous and caring.
            Sierra is survived by her son Peyton and his wife Judy and Amelia and her husband Doug Darrell; her grandchildren Ryan, Thomas, Jane and her great grandchildren Leslie, Michael and Ashley; her sister Katie, niece Ashlyn and great-nephew Theodore.
         The service and funeral arrangements are private as requested by the family.

Maybe later I will post the obituary that was written about me!

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Sources for articles: Hard News By Nikky Raney

When writing a hard news piece (for print or web) it seems as though quite a few news outlets are publishing and producing stories with few sources.

Hard news is timely and usually also involves proximity. Some examples include fires, murders, business, politics, international affairs, etc.

With hard news the inverted pyramid structure (more about that here) is very useful.

Hard news generally will involve the reporter going out and obtaining interviews first hand. Although the news is timely and up-to-date that does not excuse laziness with sources. More and more there are news outlets serving stories that could easily be confused as blog posts - meaning the sources used are usually aggregated from other news sources. With blogging that is fine - bloggers are not held to the same standards as journalists.

With a hard news story there should always be a first hand interview included with someone directly involved with the story.

For example: If the reporter was assigned to cover and report about a local drug bust a source that is essential to the story would be a police officer or any other authority involved (it will later be discussed how to deal with those type of stories in terms of semantics). Another person who would be ideal to interview would be neighbors or friends that would be willing to go on record. If there is a family member that would be willing to contribute to the story that would be great.

Interviewing the police officer is essential, because that is where the information that will be in the lead is obtained. Finding out the who, what, where and when can all be done by an interview with the authority who was at the scene.

In some scenarios secondary sources are also good to add to go along with the first hand sources. Secondary sources would include information gathered via another news source or outlet that the reporter did not go out and directly get first hand (like citing another news source or web site).

The next blog posts will go into detail for the sources essential to features, columns, reviews, editorials, etc.

For the record, blog posts will most likely include side commentary and opinions from the blogger as well as news obtained from secondary sources (other web sites), and in some cases (like this entry) the information provided comes directly from the blogger.

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