The Truth (and Fear) Will Set You Free (to Sell More Papers!)
In the next book—following Voldemort’s return—the Daily Prophet spends much of its time warning the Wizarding world about the return of Voldemort (HBP 39–41). Finally! The Daily Prophet also informs the public that Fudge has been sacked, offers a description of the events at the Department of Mysteries (but not details of the prophecy), and covers almost daily stories of disappearances, odd accidents, and deaths (HBP 60, 77–78, 105). It takes an experience spy — like Hermione — to begin connecting the dots between all of these little disappearances, accidents, and deaths.
As time goes on, the Daily Prophet informs the public about Dementor attacks and the arrest of Stan Shunpike (HBP 221). The Wizarding newspaper also reports an argument between Dumbledore and the new Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, which we find out later was the result of Scrimgeour’s request to meet with Harry (HBP 61, 357). Dumbledore tells Harry, “The Prophet is bound to report the truth occasionally, if only by accident” (HBP 357). (This reminds us of a saying: Even a broken clock is right two times a day!)
Spy Tip: Even if the open source is highly unreliable, be sure to look at it carefully. You never know what you might find!
Importantly, when Hermione wants to do research on the Half- Blood Prince, she goes through the old Daily Prophets and discovers an announcement of one Eileen Prince marrying a Tobias Snape (HBP 637), thus confirming that Severus Snape was the Prince all along.
Spy Tip: Open source information from the past is just as important as current open source information!
Did you know that there is an evening edition of the Daily Prophet called the Evening Prophet? We learn about the Evening Prophet when Professor Snape confronts Harry and Ron about being seen flying in Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia (CS 79) and also reference to an article about Arthur Weasley’s search of Malfoy Manor (HBP 234, 635).