"Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law," he added.
He vowed to push for a federal shield law for journalists and convene a group of media organizations to review existing guidelines about investigations that involve reporters.
4. A new term brings a new policy
Obama clearly used the speech to redefine U.S. policy on the so-called "war on terror," acknowledging that where once the battle was fought on foreign soil, the threats have moved.
"Now make no mistake: our nation is still threatened by terrorists. From Benghazi to Boston, we have been tragically reminded of that truth. We must recognize that the threat has shifted and evolved from the one that came to our shores on 9/11. With a decade of experience to draw from, now is the time to ask ourselves hard questions - about the nature of today's threats, and how we should confront them."
"From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions we are making now will define the type of nation -- and world -- that we leave to our children," Obama said.
"I was listening to a president who was saying to us, 'Let's get beyond where we were when I first took office, and let me tell you how my thinking has evolved since I've been president of the United States,'" said CNN's senior political analyst Gloria Borger. "He said, 'We must define the nature and scope of this struggle or it will define us.'"
But Obama will face opposition as he attempts to shift U.S. policy.
"Both on drones and on Guantanamo, he's going to get some pushback," said Borger.
5. Free speech also means 'you listen'
A loud woman interrupted the president several times during his speech, calling on Obama to close the Guantanamo Bay facility. But the president was talking about just that when he was interrupted.
"You are commander-in-chief -- you can close Guantanamo today," she yelled. "It's been 11 years!"
Obama stopped in the middle of his remarks and shot back. "This is part of free speech, is you being able to speak but also you listening and me being able to speak, alright?" Obama said.
The woman was identified as Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the protest group Code Pink and was later escorted out of the building and released.
Later, he even tweaked his closing line to incorporate the heckler in the audience.
"Victory will be measured in parents taking their kids to school, immigrants coming to our shores, fans taking in a ballgame, a veteran starting a business; a bustling city street, a citizen shouting their concerns at a president," he concluded.