Each year the Bureau of State Audits publishes the results of investigations sparked by tips sent to its whistleblower hotline. Last August's compilation of investigations included stories of misused state vehicles, excessive break times and the mishandling of sensitive documents.
Some of the 300 or so comments on, "Audit chronicles state employee abuse and bad management," the third-most viewed State Worker blog item of 2011, accused The State Worker's report as a thinly veiled attempt to cast all state workers as dishonest and lazy. Others thought the item proved that all state workers are dishonest and lazy.
Our take: One definition of news is that which is out of the ordinary. That's why the sun's rise each morning isn't news. We expect it to happen.
The auditor's report was news because it chronicled bad behavior -- actions by state employees that were outside of the ordinary. We hope that the day never arrives that inefficiency and ineptitude are considered so routine that they're not worth covering.