I'll co-host 'TODAY' from Los Angeles Saturday morning and then make my way up to Merced for that evening's graduation ceremony. I'm still touching up my remarks, but my challenge to the Class of 2010 will be to break through the deafening and too often negative echo chamber of the digital era and become critical and independent thinkers.
As Americans, we rightfully place tremendous value on having a free and independent press. Our role as journalists is to give voice to the voiceless, and hold our leaders and institutions accountable. But the circle is only completed when that information is consumed by a free-thinking and engaged audience.
There's no experience like going down an empty freeway toward a hurricane and then looking in the opposite lane and seeing bumper-to-bumper traffic, people fleeing that scene. Or going to a toxic spill and seeing people go the other way. You talk yourself into thinking you're invincible in order to do that.