"The Prophet exists to sell itself, you silly girl."
-- Rita Skeeter to Hermione, who had questioned the Daily Prophet's purpose (OP25)
The newspaper of the Wizarding World is called The Daily Prophet. It has been in existence since at least 1883, since Quidditch Through the Ages cites its coverage of Quidditch from that time (QA6). The current editor is Barnabas Cuffe (HBP4). It has offices in Diagon Alley (DP, Pm) and publishes an edition every morning. Evening editions are also printed, and these can apparently be delivered very quickly after an important story breaks. A witch or wizard anywhere in Britain can have a copy in hand within a short time of publication. For example, when Ron and Harry were spotted by Muggles flying the Anglia, Snape had a copy of the Prophet in his hand telling about it very shortly after they arrived (CS5). One of the Muggles who spotted them was in Peebles, which is relatively close to Hogwarts, so the story couldn’t have been more than an hour old at that point. Alternatively, the text of a copy of the Prophet delivered in the morning might change as the day wears on with the latest news using something similar to the Protean Charm which Hermione used on the fake Galleons.
Typically, the Prophet is delivered each morning by owl post (PS5, GF28, OP1, OP12, HBP11). A subscription can be paid for in advance or the recipient can pay for the newspaper when it arrives by putting the coins in a small pouch on the leg of the post owl who delivers it. The cost per issue was five Knuts the summer before Harry’s first year (PS5) but appears to have risen to seven Knuts later on (DP1).
The Prophet is not the only publication in the Wizarding World, but it is almost certainly the most widely read. Stories in the Prophet often color public opinion to a great amount. When the Prophet published stories deriding Harry Potter and Dumbledore, most people in the Wizarding World believed what they read.
As happened during the summer of 1995, when Harry and Dumbledore were slandered in the Prophet, it is possible for the newspaper to be manipulated and for its content to be slanted intentionally. The Ministry of Magic was responsible for the unfair journalism of that summer as Cornelius Fudge strove to discredit Dumbledore’s account of the return of Voldemort. Unfortunately, the Prophet does not seem to have a lot of journalistic integrity, as is clear from the fact that Rita Skeeter wrote for it regularly (with a short enforced hiatus from the spring of 1995).
Known Daily Prophet features
- The Prophet does a zoological column every Wednesday (GF21), which was Rita's excuse for interviewing Hagrid during his Care of Magical Creatures class.
- The Prophet's Quidditch section is headed by a boxed table of all the teams in the league ranked by total number of points scored (left hand column) with Forthcoming Matches listed side-by-side with it on the right. The rest of the Quidditch section consists of a series of articles on recent matches and other items of interest (see list of headlines below) (DP1, DP2, DP3, DP4).
- The Prophet has a Letters Page, generally with one letter singled out as the STAR LETTER. Some of the letters merit editorial responses, usually rather brief and in italics (DP1).
- The Prophet has a Classified Advertisements section, with subheadings of JOBS, FOR SALE, LONELY HEARTS. Rather than Post Office Boxes, the LONELY HEARTS advertisements direct replies to OWL BOX numbers. The BIRTHS and DEATHS also appear on this page (DP2).
- The Prophet has a Problem Page with experts in various fields who attempt to answer readers' questions on a variety of topics: medical queries, emotional dilemmas, legal problems, and everyday magical problems (DP3).
- The Prophet occasionally has a Fiendishly Difficult Crossword (DP4).
- The Prophet has a regular gossip column written by Rita Skeeter. Her readers had voted Luna Lovegood's wedding dress the "Most Hideous Outfit of the Year" after Luna's marriage to Rolf Scamander (Pm).
Known Daily Prophet personnel
- Ludo Bagman - wrote a feature article during the 2014 Quidditch World Cup (Pm)
- Bozo (surname unknown) - Rita's photographer partner (GF18)
- Betty Braithwaite - interviewed Rita Skeeter about her forthcoming book on Dumbledore (DH2)
- Barnabas Cuffe - Editor (HBP4)
- Zamira Gulch - addresses everyday magical problems for the Prophet's Problem Page (DP3)
- Grizel Hurtz - addresses emotional dilemmas for the Prophet's Problem Page (DP3)
- Winkus Oddpick - wrote what sounds like an op-ed column about goblins (DP3)
- Rita Skeeter - Reporter (GF10), Special Correspondent (GF23) and Gossip Correspondent (Pm)
- Professor Helbert Spleen of St. Mungo's - addresses medical queries for the Prophet's Problem Page (DP3)
- Ginny Weasley - Quidditch Correspondent during the 2014 Quidditch World Cup (Pm)
- Dempster Wiggleswade of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement - addresses legal problems for the Prophet's Problem Page (DP3)
- (name unknown) - a photographer who covered Gilderoy Lockhart's book signing for Magical Me at Flourish and Blotts (CS4)
Known Daily Prophet headlines and articles
- A series of articles about the disappearance of Violet Tillyman in the Floo Network (Pm)
- Bring Back Our Baskets! (12 February 1883) (QA6)
- Our Chasers Aren't Cheating! (22 June 1884) (QA6)
- An article by the chief sports writer about the Muggle sport of cricket, comparing it to Quidditch (1902) (Pm)
- FLYING FORD ANGLIA MYSTIFIES MUGGLES (CS5)
- CANNONS GO DOWN IN A SHOWER OF ARROWS (DP1)
- FAULTY WANDS RECALLED (DP1)
- MAGPIE CHASER "ONLY TRIED FOOTBALL FOR A LAUGH" (DP1)
- MUGGLES NOT AS STUPID AS WE THINK, SAYS MINISTRY REPORT (DP1)
- Puddlemere United feature (DP1)
- Holyhead Harpies Draw Record Crowd (DP1)
- CELESTINA WARBECK CONCERT CAUSES BROOM SMASH OVER LIVERPOOL (DP2)
- ENQUIRY AT THE IMPROPER USE OF MAGIC OFFICE (DP2)
- 'TROLL RIGHTS MOVEMENT OUT OF CONTROL' (DP2)
- WHY THE JOKE'S ON THE MINISTRY, NOT ON THE MUGGLES (DP2)
- BATS SURVIVE THE TORNADOS (DP2)
- Cannons Didn't Lose Shock (DP2)
- Chaos Reigns on Exmoor for Falcons & Pride of Portree (DP2)
- Maddock blamed for Kestrels' win (DP2)
- Wilda wallops the Wigs (DP2)
- GOBLIN RIOTS ERUPT IN CHIPPING CLODBURY (DP3)
- Making sure the purchaser of your old wand is human (DP3)
- Why can't goblins be more like elves? (DP3)
- MUGGLEMANIAC MADDOCK MUST QUIT MAGPIES, SAYS MCLEOD (DP3)
- SEEKERS JINXED AS PRIDE OF PORTREE FALL TO THE ARROWS (DP3)
- BRAND NEW HARPY SAVES THE DAY (DP3)
- CHUDLEY CANNON WIN STUNS FANS (DP3)
- MINISTRY IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS (DP4)
- NEW POTION GIVES HOPE FOR HAGS (DP4)
- PUDDLEMERE CHASER VANISHES AMID CHAOS AT HOLYHEAD MATCH (DP4)
- CANNONS BLAST THE FALCONS (DP4)
- MINISTRY OF MAGIC EMPLOYEE SCOOPS GRAND PRIZE - caption of Weasley Family picture in Egypt with Scabbers the rat (PA1)
- BLACK STILL AT LARGE (PA3)
- SCENES OF TERROR AT THE QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP (GF10)
- DUMBLEDORE'S GIANT MISTAKE (GF23)
- Mystery Illness of Bartemius Crouch (GF27)
- Ministry Witch Still Missing – Minister for Magic Now Personally Involved (GF27)
- HARRY POTTER ‘DISTURBED AND DANGEROUS’ (GF31)
- TRESPASS AT MINISTRY (OP14)
- MINISTRY SEEKS EDUCATIONAL REFORM
DOLORES UMBRIDGE APPOINTED FIRST EVER HIGH INQUISITOR (OP15)
- MASS BREAKOUT FROM AZKABAN
MINISTRY FEARS BLACK IS 'RALLYING POINT' FOR OLD DEATH EATERS (OP25)
- TRAGIC DEMISE OF MINISTRY OF MAGIC WORKER (OP25)
- HE-WHO-MUST-NOT-BE-NAMED RETURNS (OP38)
- You-Know-Who's Last Attempt to Take Over (OP38)
- What the Ministry Should Have Told Us (OP38)
- Why Nobody Listened to Albus Dumbledore (OP38)
- Exclusive Interview with Harry Potter (an article bought in from The Quibbler) (OP38)
- HARRY POTTER: THE CHOSEN ONE? (HBP3)
- SCRIMGEOUR SUCCEEDS FUDGE (HBP3)
- (headline not given) - when Stan Shunpike was arrested (HBP11)
- (headline not given, Evening Prophet) - when Arthur Weasley raided the Malfoys' house (HBP11)
- (headline not given) - Mundungus Fletcher arrested and sent to Azkaban; Octavius Pepper vanished; nine-year-old boy arrested for trying to kill grandparents (HBP21)
- DUMBLEDORE – THE TRUTH AT LAST? (DH2)
- (headline not given) - page 13 interview of Rita Skeeter by Betty Braithwaite (DH2)
- WANTED FOR QUESTIONING ABOUT THE DEATH OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE - Front-page headline accompanied by a photo of Harry Potter (DH11)
- (headline not given) - a Page 2 article announcing creation of the “Muggle-born Register” and formation of the “Muggle-born Registration Commission” - shown by Lupin to Harry, Ron and Hermione on August 2, 1997 (DH11)
- EXCLUSIVE EXTRACT FROM THE UPCOMING BIOGRAPHY OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE (DH11) - this was accompanied by a picture captioned “The Dumbledore family, left to right: Albus; Percival, holding newborn Ariana; Kendra; and Aberforth” - shown by Lupin to Harry, Ron and Hermione on 2 August 1997 (DH11)
- Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts - the Prizes and the Pretence - a feature promised for the following week at the end of the article under the headline above (DH11)
- SEVERUS SNAPE CONFIRMED AS HOGWARTS HEADMASTER - appeared in the 1 September 1997 edition, accompanied by a large picture of Severus Snape (DH12)
- An article reporting which subject at Hogwarts parents had most complained about over the past 100 years (JKR-W2)
- DISASTROUS OPENING CEREMONY LEADS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP SECURITY (Sport, 12 April 2014) - all Daily Prophet and written by Ginny Weasley, "the Daily Prophet’s Quidditch Correspondent in the Patagonian desert", unless noted otherwise (Pm)
- NORWAY VERSUS IVORY COAST (Sunday Prophet, Sport, 13 April 2014) (Pm)
- NIGERIA VERSUS FIJI (Sport, 14 May 2014) (Pm)
- BRAZIL VERSUS HAITI (Sport, 15 May 2014) (Pm)
- USA VERSUS JAMAICA (Sport, 16 May 2014) - under investigation (Pm)
- USA VERSUS JAMAICA (Evening Prophet, Sport, 16 May 2014) - result officially confirmed (Pm)
- LIECHTENSTEIN VERSUS CHAD (Sport, 17 May 2014) - ongoing (Pm)
- LIECHTENSTEIN VERSUS CHAD (Sunday Prophet, Sport, 18 May 2014) - ongoing (Pm)
- LIECHTENSTEIN VERSUS CHAD (Sport, 19 May 2014) (Pm)
- BULGARIA VERSUS NEW ZEALAND (Sport, 20 May 2014) (Pm)
- JAPAN VERSUS POLAND (Sport, 21 May 2014) (Pm)
- WALES VERSUS GERMANY (Sport, 22 May 2014) (Pm)
- BRAZIL VERSUS WALES (Sport, 04 June 2014) (Pm)
- BULGARIA VERSUS NORWAY (Sport, 06 June 2014) (Pm)
- USA VERSUS LIECHTENSTEIN (Sport, 08 June 2014) (Pm)
- LATE BREAKING NEWS (Evening Prophet, Sport, 08 June 2014) - report of mascot theft (Pm)
- RETURN OF HANS THE AUGUREY (Evening Prophet, Sport, 09 June 2014) (Pm)
- JAPAN VERSUS NIGERIA (Sport, 10 June 2014) (Pm)
- PLACE YOUR BETS WITH LUDO BAGMAN (Sport, 02 July 2014) - feature on the remaining teams in the tournament and their chances, by Ludo Bagman (Pm)
- USA VS BRAZIL (Sport, 04 July 2014) - ongoing (Pm)
- USA VS BRAZIL (Evening Prophet, Sport, 05 July 2014) (Pm)
- BULGARIA VS JAPAN (Sunday Prophet, Sport, 06 July 2014) (Pm)
- DUMBLEDORE'S ARMY REUNITES AT QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP FINAL (Sport, 09 July 2014) - article by the Gossip Correspondent, Rita Skeeter (Pm)
- PLAY-OFF FOR THIRD PLACE (Sport, 09 July 2014) - report of the Japan v USA match (Pm)
- QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP FINAL (Evening Prophet, Sport, 11 July 2014) - transcript of the live coverage of the Bulgaria v Brazil match by both the Daily Prophet's Quidditch Correspondent (Ginny Weasley) and Gossip Correspondent (Rita Skeeter) (Pm)
In the late 1990s, J. K. Rowling wrote four issues of The Daily Prophet as newsletters for a short-lived Harry Potter Fan Club sponsored by Bloomsbury Books (DP).
"The Daily xxx" is a common newspaper name. As a prophet predicts or foresees the future, The Daily Prophet makes sense as a newspaper name for the wizarding world. The word prophet is also a close homonym for the word profit, something the newspaper is also very interested in.
There are several British newspapers with the word "Daily" in the title: Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, etc.
In the world of D.C. Comics, Superman (alias Clark Kent) works at the Daily Planet.
From the Web
Screenshots of the Daily Prophet's coverage of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup: http://imgur.com/a/AXutv