Certain newspapers are actually owned or have been owned by Mafiosi, by businessmen with close ties to the Mafia. So they use their outlets to broadcast Mafia-friendly news, covering issues that are of interest to the Mafia or attacking certain people, magistrates or investigators.

Lirio Abbate, Investigative Journalist, L'Espresso

With an estimated annual turnover of $150bn, the Italian Mafia represents one of the country's largest businesses and does not accept any scrutiny by the media.

Operating in the shadows, the criminal gangs often have links to powerful politicians who shield them from attack.

And with the mainstream media only covering Mafia stories when there are major arrests or big names involved, many of the journalists who risk exposing the truth, often do so with little reach, tiny budgets and no protection.

And despite facing constant intimidation, it is those local investigative reporters who continue to brave the threats.

The Listening Post's Paolo Ganino reports from Palermo on the troublesome relation between the Mafia and the Italian media.

Source: Al Jazeera