The special issue aims at investigating the plurality of voices and the re-articulation of communication strategies and practices around open government. The issue will critically reflect the strategic role of public sector communication in building an open government approach, considering the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to enable innovative processes and/or to influence citizens’ behaviors in order to achieve specific policy objectives (Capano & Pavan, 2018). In this prospective, open government is investigated also in respect to contexts in which data are produced and disseminated, in order to ensure the effective voices from citizens to be integrated in public policies (Harris &Fleisher, 2017). At the same time, this increased transparency and citizens’ participation could foster digital surveillance. The production of communication enabled by digital platforms makes everything more transparent and controlled, evolving in a digital panopticon in which everyone can be observed and controlled. Surveillance of digital publics, data collection and their manipulation are related problems, and they represent an ethical challenge for public sector organizations and threats for citizens (Lyon, 2018; Zavattaro & Sementelli, 2014). Moreover, the special issue will focus on how different voices intertwine or conflict in a hybrid, fragmented and corporatized media system characterized by the increasing spreading of problematic information. From one side, the public sector voice will be taken into consideration, focusing on offline and digital communication implemented by public organizations, investigating ethical, sociological, and political implications. Many questions arise in this context. What are the ethical responsibilities of public sector organizations with regard to citizen engagement? Are public sector organizations prepared to face these challenges? With trust in government at an all-time low, communication can represent a key to building open and accessible discourse, as well as helping to make government both responsible and reflexive? How do public sector communicators can give visibility to citizen voices? What are the skills required to address the challenges? On the other side, this special issue will focus on citizens’ voices, investigating grassroots communicatio practices and dynamics of participation in conventional or protest-oriented ways. For instance: how do citizens’ voices engage (or disengage) with governmental and public sector organizations? How do citizens perceive public sector organizations’ communications? What are the effects produced and enabled by open government’s initiatives in different countries? What are the threats of adopting an open government approach in citizens’ perception? What measures should be taken with regard to information, privacy, and the ethical responsibilities of the public sector with digitally-collected information? Furthermore, other voices, such as NGOs, non-profit associations, and news media, will be taken in consideration for the special issue.

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