David Zurawik

Marilyn Mosby shows how you use TV to inform

What an impressive TV press conference by State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Memo to all the politicians chasing camera time who think they understand media: That's the way you use television to inform.


Two minutes into her press conference, you knew that this official had done her homework and wasn't speaking blah-blah-blah, platitude-sloppy, media-bromide talk like so many elected and appointed officials here have been doing this week.

She talked with the kind of force and precision a legal education is supposed to impart. But it was so unlike the ideologically charged, purely speculative, sometimes foolish talk I heard from so many lawyers on cable TV and the streets of Baltimore this week.


Mosby projected focus, strength, determination, righteousness and resolve. I'm not saying she is all of those things -- I have no way of knowing.

But that's what came through on the tube. And all of those telegenic attributes enhanced the power of the findings she announced, charging six police officers in the death of Freddie Gray.

We needed to see someone on the expanding and volatile stage of the Freddie Gray tragedy whom we felt would operate above the partisan politics and me-first thinking of so many officials, and Mosby Friday morning used TV to show us someone who looked like she fit that bill. Did she ever take command of that stage.

She has a huge uphill battle to get many residents of this city to trust the legal process when it comes to prosecution of the police.

But Friday's TV press conference was a good first step.