Oprah Winfrey delivers rousing commencement address to USC Annenberg graduates

UNIVERSITY PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In a rousing commencement address Friday at the Shrine Auditorium, Oprah Winfrey offered life advice and encouragement to this year's graduates of USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

"You will become the new editorial gatekeepers -- an ambitious army of truth-seekers who will arm yourselves with the intelligence, the insight and the facts necessary to strike down deceit," the media mogul told the newly minted grads. "You are in a position to keep all of those who now disparage real news."

In a keynote speech that lasted about 20 minutes, Winfrey said the graduates were being "catapulted into a world that appears to be off its rocker." Nevertheless, she encouraged them to "use your gifts to illuminate the darkness in our world. This is your time to rise. It is."

The former "Oprah Winfrey Show" host told the cap-and-gown-clad members of the audience that they can wield significant influence at the ballot box.

"Vote. Vote. Vote," she exhorted. "Pay attention to what the people who claim to represent you are doing and saying in your name and on your behalf. They represent you and if they have not done right by you, if their policies are at odds with your core beliefs, then you have a responsibility to send them packing."

As for her career advice?

"Become so skilled, so vigilant, so flat-out fantastic at what you do that your talent cannot be dismissed," she said.
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