(By Alessia Cerantola for the BBC College of Journalism)
Franco Castaldo (above) remembers the time when people used to buy his newspaper at the kiosk, hiding it inside their coat or in the pages of other publications. Their wish to be informed was tempered by fear of the consequences.
It was 2004 and he’d just started publishing Grandangolo di Agrigento - a bimonthly newspaper with stories on the local mafia in a city on the southern coast of Sicily, where the risk of exposing the truth could be severe for reporters and their supporters.
After decades running the newsdesk of La Sicilia, one of the island’s main daily newspapers, Castaldo was suddenly removed from his position, transferred to another province and then paid for not working. His crime was having reported the accusation, by a supergrass during a trial, that an important local entrepreneur was connected to the mafia.
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