At the start of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, we see Harry and Dumbledore entertaining some sort of press conference.

Given that the Daily Prophet appears to be the only serious newspaper in the wizarding world (the Quibbler is evidently its main competitor and is a hand-printed gazette) it raises the question;

Who are all these photographers, and who do they work for?

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  • 4
    Only serious English paper... surely there are papers all over the world, just as there are wizarding schools in other countries?
    – Catija
    Oct 16, 2015 at 20:14
  • @Catija - That sounds like the makings of a good answer. If you can back it up, obviously :-)
    – Valorum
    Oct 16, 2015 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


It seems likely that these are foreign journalists, and/or other individuals interested in the Potter case. We don’t really get details in the canon.

Foreign journalists

The Pottermore entry for the Prophet begins:

There is only one wizarding newspaper in Britain, discounting such small circulation publications such as The Quibbler. The Daily Prophet, whose headquarters are in Diagon Alley, is delivered by owl on a daily basis to nearly every wizarding household in Britain.

First, I feel like it would be strange if the Prophet had an international circulation but it wasn’t mentioned here. The paper is only ever mentioned as having a British readership, and is written entirely in English.

Second, there is a limit to the range owls can fly at a time. I don’t know what it is, but I’m fairly sure it isn’t global (or even far enough to get over the British Channel). The paper would need entirely new delivery methods to reach international audiences.

All of which suggests that there are other, foreign newspapers. Given that teleportation is freely available via apparition, it’s easy to send a photographer and journalist to an event happening in a different country, which is probably what’s happening here.

Although Voldemort was mostly limited to Britain, his reappearance would be of interest outside Britain. At least in part to see how we cope, and whether his antics spark copycat groups elsewhere. Oh, and the small matter that Voldemort’s return is a huge embarrassment for Fudge, the most senior magical politician in the UK. But that wouldn’t be of interest to the papers, right?

Other individuals

There are surely people writing books and biographies of Harry. The Muggle press are way more intrusive; turning up to a press conference is fairly tame. For these people, turning up to an event where he’s just defeated Voldemort (again!) could be a major scoop.

We have no canon evidence these people exist, but I think it’s likely they do.

Competing journalists?

This is an idea that struck me right after I posted the answer above. The Pottermore entry tells us that Rita Skeeter is their “star reporter”. But at the end of Goblet of Fire, Hermione gives her a break from writing:

“I’ve told her I’ll let [Rita] out when we get back to London,” said Hermione. “I’ve put an Unbreakable Charm on the jar, you see, so she can’t transform. And I’ve told her she’s to keep her quill to herself for a whole year. See if she can’t break the habit of writing horrible lies about people.”

Goblet of Fire, chapter 37 (The Beginning)

She seems to be taking that break seriously – when she meets Harry and Hermione in Order of the Phoenix, she talks about how other people are writing for the Prophet without her. The threat of being revealed as an unregistered Animagus is a dangerous one.

With her gone, that means there’s a vacant spot for top reporter at the Prophet. Presumably other reporters have been scrambling for that top position. This is one of the biggest stories of the year – perhaps there’s more than one Prophet photographer/journalist, trying to get the best most headline-grabbing version of this story.


Other wizarding publications, both domestic and foreign. It's also possible that photographers from different sections (e.g. a cartoonist wanting a reference photo) would be in attendance.

In canon, we hear about Witch Weekly (Mrs Weasley gets it for the recipes, and it awards the Most Charming Smile award), and Ron has issues of The Adventures of Martin Miggs, the Mad Muggle comic. The comic is obviously unlikely to run news articles, but it does show that there are other wizarding publications. There's no reason to rule out local newspapers (for example The Hogsmeade Herald, readership 350).

More speculatively, Harry Potter is very newsworthy in general, so putting his picture on the front cover is a good way to boost circulation. He's also globally famous in the wizarding community, so it's likely foreign newspapers might also follow him (especially after a 'taster' when he was in the Triwizard Tournament). Sending a photographer, especially when you don't have to pay for travel and accommodation, except maybe a portkey registration, is relatively low expense for a potentially high reward.

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