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In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Draco Malfoy said:

"You know, I'm surprised that the Daily Prophet hasn't done a report on all these attacks. I suppose Dumbledore is trying to hush it all up. Father always said Dumbledore was the worst thing that ever happened to this place."

Was it true?

If so, then why wasn't the Daily Prophet reporting?

If not, then what's going on? Was Draco misinformed?

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    Because Dumbledore was trying to hush it all up?
    – Shreedhar
    Aug 4 at 8:50
  • Because a few magical accidents at the local comprehensive aren't front page news?
    – Valorum
    Aug 4 at 8:53
  • 3
    @Valorum magical accidents in what might be the only magical school in the UK are not even last page news to the entire wizarding world of the UK?
    – BCLC
    Aug 4 at 11:43
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    @Shreedhar agreed. saint POTTAH.
    – BCLC
    Aug 4 at 11:54
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    @BCLC given we see that the Hogwarts medical wing is basically always full with "interesting" outcomes and injuries on several occasions, if the Daily Prophet thought there were stories to be had then each and every issue should have a pull out just on events at Hogwarts...
    – Moo
    Aug 4 at 21:57
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+50

The reason why Daily Prophet didn't write about the attacks was not explicitly mentioned in the book. So it leaves space for speculation.

The fact is that Daily Prophet was heavily influenced by the Ministry of Magic. We learn a lot about it in "The Order of the Phoenix" and further books. We don't know if Fudge was leaning on the Daily Prophet during Harry's second year at Hogwarts, but it is safe to assume he already had the power to do that.

Cornelius Fudge really wasn't a firm and confident person. He cared a lot about his image. Again we learn much about him at the end of "The Goblet of Fire" and in further books.

Already in "Chamber of Secrets" (chapter 14: Cornelius Fudge) the Minister says:

Things’ve gone far enough. Ministry’s got to act.

Ministry’s got to do something — the school governors have been in touch —

Look at it from my point of view, (...) I’m under a lot of pressure. Got to be seen to be doing something.

(...) Dumbledore suspended — no, no — last thing we want just now —

See here, Malfoy, if Dumbledore can’t stop them [the attacks], (...) I mean to say, who can?

I read those quotes as the information about the attacks started to spread and Fudge was expected to somehow remedy the situation. But the Minister had no other idea what to do except from counting on Dumbledore to solve the problem himself.

My conclusion is that the last thing Fudge wanted was the article in the Daily Prophet, which ould have put even more pressure on him. So the Minister could lean on the newspaper editors not to write about the attacks at Hogwarts.

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  • thanks Demosthenes! currently i'm inclined to agree with this answer: minister is suppressing free speech w/c i guess is a right UK wizards/witches don't quite have. i mean i find it hard to believe the daily prophet DOESN'T KNOW about this or DOESN'T CARE TO REPORT IT if it didn't know
    – BCLC
    Aug 14 at 4:09
  • It might even have been that word started to spread via the Prophet. Harry doesn't get the paper, so we as readers don't know when they reported something about the attacks, if at all. But Fudge got involved rather late, and as you say, he wasn't that assertive and confident in his early days in office, so I don't see him leaning on the Daily Prophet before he absolutely had to, instead holding out hope that Dumbledore will do the work for him... but as you said, it's all speculation.
    – BMWurm
    Aug 15 at 21:58
  • sounds good to me. thanks Demosthenes and @BMWurm
    – BCLC
    Aug 17 at 12:40
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For the Daily Prophet to report on the attacks it has to be informed of them. At the time Draco gives that statement the following individuals have been attacked:

  • Mrs Norris,
  • Colin Creevey,
  • Nearly-Headless Nick,
  • Justin Finch-Fletchley.

None of those have relatives who would have easy access to a Prophet reporter, possibly with the exception of Mr Filch, who Dumbledore does indeed have some control over, being that he is his employer. Of the others, we are iirc not even told if their parents are informed, Colin and Justin are after all both Muggleborn.

Slytherin students might of course tell their parents but remember, this whole thing is a plot by Lucius Malfoy - a fact Draco himself is unaware of. Lucius does not want this story to be blown up - at least not just yet, I believe. He wants to remove Dumbledore from office, and that requires there to be angry parents, but he needs to channel that anger. Muggleborn students' parents don't usually get the Daily Prophet and since it - so far - only effected Muggleborns most parents that get the paper, will probably think their children to be quite save if they are half- or pure-blood. So for it being worthy of printing it, and getting that anger Lucius is probably waiting for a victim that would be more meaningful to the more bigotted parents (which Penelope will eventually turn out to be).

So I'm not so sure Draco is right in blaming Dumbledore on the fact there is nothing in the paper, his own father could very well be pressuring them to keep quiet for now as well.

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    (1/2) thanks for answering, but... don't think it makes sense to me that news people wouldn't know about something like this. what would myb make sense to me is that the news people don't really find this worthy of news after all it's just 1 school it's not some city wide pandemic (but then again...hogwarts is the only magical school in the UK right? so maybe it wouldn't make sense...) i guess it makes sense that lucius is somehow keeping people quiet, but...
    – BCLC
    Aug 4 at 11:23
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    (2/2) ...how is lucius doing it? is daily prophet controlled by the ministry or something? (i think there maybe something relevant from deathly hallows here like about the suppression or control of news during deathly hallows...) what about other news or radio outlets like quibbler? they really didn't know? or lucius kept them quiet too? maybe this is my internet era mind talking but even pre-internet, i cannot imagine that this kind of news is suppressed.
    – BCLC
    Aug 4 at 11:25
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    Maybe fringe news outlets like The Quibbler did report on it, but we would never know about it, since Harry doesn't and we (almost) only ever see things from Harry's POV.
    – BMWurm
    Aug 4 at 11:25
  • 'I'm not so sure Draco is right in blaming Dumbledore' --> seriously? there's a chance draco is actually right?
    – BCLC
    Aug 4 at 17:01
  • @BCLC I mean, it's quite obvious that Dumbledore didn't send an owl straight to Daily Prophet with description of the events. Neither did he send one to the Ministry. This could be called "hushing it up", especially by Dumbledore's opponent. But we don't know if Dumbledore actually took any extra action to prevent leaking the news. Aug 4 at 20:21

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