Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
by J.K. Rowling
In Book 4, Rita Skeeter appears as the scheming reporter who will do anything – lie, twist words, spy, whatever – to get an exciting story. To stop Rita from reporting horrible things about Harry, Hermione manages to blackmail her (for full details, check out our guide to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). Hermione demands that Rita Skeeter go a whole year without publishing lies about someone, and Skeeter reluctantly agrees.
Now, it's Book 5, and Rita Skeeter is clearly suffering: "Unemployment did not suit Rita. The hair that had once been set in elaborate curls now hung lank and unkempt around her face. The scarlet paint on her two-inch talons was chipped and there were a couple of false jewels missing from her winged glasses" (25.192). Fortunately, Hermione has a job for her. Hermione wants Rita to write up an exclusive interview from Harry about his experiences at the end of last year, including Cedric Diggory's death and the return of Voldemort. Rita admits that the Daily Prophet will only publish anti-Harry stories – that's all the public wants to hear – so Hermione suggests an alternative: The Quibbler. Even though Rita sneers at publishing in a tabloid like The Quibbler, she has no choice but to accept Hermione's terms. Harry and Hermione are finally learning how to make the press work for them rather than against them.