Oprah Winfrey Encourages Students to "Be the Truth" in USC Commencement Speech

"You are in a position to keep all of those who now disparage real news. You all are the ones who are going to keep those people in check," Winfrey told students.

Oprah Winfrey figured it was safe to talk about politics again as she stood in front of a crowd of graduates at the University of Southern California.

Winfrey joked, "The rumors from my last big speech have finally died down." That speech, at the Golden Globe Awards in January, brought talk of a presidential run. Friday's commencement address at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism stuck with more standard inspirational fare.

She urged the graduates to vote, emphasized the importance of public service and asked the future journalists and public communicators to be warriors for truth in a time of rampant misinformation.

"You will become the new editorial gatekeepers and an ambitious army of truth seekers who will arm yourselves with the intelligence, with the insight and the facts necessary to strike down deceit. You are in a position to keep all of those who now disparage real news. You all are the ones who are going to keep those people in check," Winfrey told students.

"Why? Because you can push back and you can answer false narratives with real information and you can set the record straight, and you also have the ability and the power to give voice … to people who desperately now need to tell their stories and have their stories told."

Winfrey also addressed the "hysteria" surrounding the current political climate, urging students to "transcend" the chaos and "be the truth."

"This is your time to rise. Even though you can’t go anywhere … without, everywhere you turn, people ... talking about how bad things are, how terrible it is. And this is what I know: The problem is everybody is meeting hysteria with more hysteria, and then we just are all becoming hysterical, and it’s getting worse. We’re not supposed to match it. … We’re supposed to see through it and then transcend it. That is how you overcome hysteria."

Winfrey also took time to poke fun at the graduating students by offering them comical advice such as: Remember to recycle, don't scrimp on shoes and, "for God's sake, put your phone down at the dinner table."