Tom Brokaw To Travel Route 50 To “Hear What People Have To Say Out There”

By Alissa Krinsky 

On Today this morning, NBC’s Tom Brokaw announced he’ll be filing a series of reports for the network as he and a crew travel the country along Route 50, which stretches from Maryland to California.

The goal? To hear from everyday Americans how they’re feeling about the nation and the future. “I have felt for a long time,” Brokaw told Meredith Vieira, “as a journalist, that we spend too much time in Washington, speaking only to people who live in Washington. We need to see this country from the outside looking back.”

Interviews will be done over a period of “nine months to a year,” Brokaw said, with reports slated to air on Today, Nightly News, and MSNBC.

Vieira said the concept was inspired by the book American Character: A Photographic Journey, for which Brokaw wrote the forward. According to a press release, the tome is part of a USA Network artistic initiative; USA is owned by NBC Universal.

“I love to travel the by-ways of this country,” says Brokaw. “I’m very eager to hear what people have to say out there.”

• More: Brokaw’s reports will also be showcased on USA Network, and featured next year on a USA Network special — Highway 50: A Road Trip Across Obama’s America — slated to air roughly one year after the inauguration of President Obama.