This is a journalistic excess that's obviously now gone over the top. David Haynes, who is editorial page editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a member of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, today pens a column in the paper arguing that the state should almost always at the request of journalists or presumably anyone else release the names of state employees (that is, public employees who work for the state) who have been disciplined by their managers. Haynes' column grew out of a case in which the Associated Press asked the state Justice Department for a blanket list of all DOJ employees who have been disciplined. The DOJ provided a list but redacted individual names.
Haynes argues that "even minor work rule violations can have a serious impact on morale, especially if there is a pattern of abuse. Without the names, it is harder for the public to know about patterns of conduct — or if the state responded promptly and fairly." Umm, maybe, but releasing names of people cited for minor work rule violations itself can create an even bigger morale problem. And state employees right now already have serious morale problems, thanks to Scott Walker laws that basically have eaten away at many of their union-based grievance guarantees and civil service protections.