The secret to attracting bees

By Staff
Melissa Cason
This week someone told me that I wasn't doing my job right.
I looked at him in confusion because I really didn't know whether to take the remark as a compliment or an insult.
But, as he clarified what he meant by the remark, I feel it was a compliment.
He said that I wasn't doing my job because reporters are supposed to be aggressive and rude to get the story. This person does not know me well enough, but I think on some level he is right.
I am not ruthless and I don't just barge into public offices demanding things. I don't operate that way.
Over the course of my life, I have learned that you attract bees better with sugar than vinegar.
So, I try to remember my manners when dealing with public officials and other sources.
I am nice. I can't really help that. I really don't have a mean bone in my body. I don't wish anyone any real harm and I'd never do anything I'd deem unethical to get a story.
I don't use tricks, mind games or demands. I simply walk in, tell them what I need, smile, and walk out with the information.
It's just that simple.
But, I must admit it hasn't always been that easy. There have been times when I would have to drag information out of people and there have been a few calls left unreturned along the way.
All of that changed when I got to know my sources as people. Before I knew it I started caring about them instead of what I could get out them, and the information just started flowing.
I guess the moral of this story is that genuinely caring about my sources has opened doors.
I can honestly say that I care about everyone I have come in contact with through this paper. If I have ever done a story on or about you, or you've been a source for a story, I care about how you are doing as a person instead of what you can give me.
Back to the remark made earlier, I feel that I show that I care about my sources and readers by not barging into offices and making demands. So no, I don't think I am too nice to be a reporter.
I think I am a caring, compassionate reporter. I have been covering this county for two years with that mindset and I will continue down that path.

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