Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Magic/Witch Weekly
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Magic|
|Features||"Women's Weekly" of the Wizarding world|
|First Appearance||Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets|
Witch Weekly is a weekly newspaper / magazine similar to the Muggle publication Women's Weekly. It seems to be aimed at middle-aged Wizarding housewives, and is generally full of stories about celebrities (including Harry on occasion) and handy household tips.
When Rita Skeeter writes a story that implies that Hermione is leading both Harry and Viktor Krum on romantically, shortly after the Second Task in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, she is able to get it published in Witch Weekly. As a direct result of this, Hermione gets great quantities of hate mail, one of which is filled with Bubotuber pus. Because of this, she has to miss several classes.
It turns out that Mrs. Weasley also reads Witch Weekly, and because of that story, she rather goes off Hermione; Hermione is dismayed at Easter that year, when the Easter egg that Mrs. Weasley sends Harry is about the size of an ostrich egg, and Hermione's is the size of a chicken's egg. This misunderstanding is not cleared up until the Weasleys come to cheer Harry on in the Third Task, and Harry tells Mrs. Weasley that Hermione was never his girlfriend.
Witch Weekly also gives out a periodic (probably annual) "Most Charming Smile Award," which Gilderoy Lockhart is inordinately proud of having won five times.
One thing that has been commented on elsewhere is the realism, the fullness of the vision of the Wizarding world. It is easy to believe, at least while the books are open in front of us, that the Wizarding world that Rowling describes could exist. A large part of that seems to be how completely the author has portrayed, not just the magical aspects of that world, but how the world's inhabitants get along from day to day. Witch Weekly is a tiny, but intriguing part of that. If this sort of publication can exist in the Muggle world, its absence from the Wizarding world would be a small irritant: what would Molly read in the market line-up? Additionally, gossipy pieces, like the discussion of Hermione, Harry, and Viktor, are clearly not news, and so would have to go into some sort of magazine. Failing to include Witch Weekly, or something very like it, would prevent that plot point appearing.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Rita Skeeter tells Hermione quite plainly that the object of a newspaper is to make money. Given that, a market of the type served by Witch Weekly would never be overlooked – all those housewives with a few spare Knuts at the store counter! Just as in the Muggle world, if there are Galleons to be made by selling writings slanted towards one audience, something will come along to make those Galleons. It is to the author's credit that the result is so very believable.