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Photo Illustration: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

YouTube is spending $7 million to fund two new programs to help journalists looking to build an audience on YouTube, executives tell Axios.

Why it matters: It's the first time YouTube is spending money to fund journalism independently of the $300 million Google has dedicated to journalism programs through its Google News Initiative.

Details: Both new initiatives are year-long programs, designed to help digital-first journalists learn how to build audiences and brands on YouTube.

  1. The "Creator Program for Independent Journalists" is for independent journalists who want to start their own YouTube channels. The program offers training for video production and entrepreneurial business development. YouTube will give grants globally for up to $50,000 for 40-60 journalists.
  2. The "Sustainability Lab for Digital-First Newsrooms" is a new program that focuses on helping digital-first newsrooms build sustainable business models on YouTube. YouTube will give 20-30 digital-first newsrooms grants worth up to $200,000. Newsrooms will get access to specialists to help them learn video journalism best practices.

The big picture: YouTube is investing in these programs because its users want more video from authoritative journalists and outlets, said Tim Katz, head of news partnerships at YouTube.

  • "We see our users coming to the platform and looking for news," he said. "We believe it's our responsibility to those users to give them access to authoritative news and information."

Go deeper

Google and YouTube roll out new protections for teens

Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Google and YouTube are introducing new safety protections for users under 18, according to company blog posts Tuesday.

Why it matters: Google joins Facebook-owned Instagram in changing privacy and advertising policies for younger users as regulators across the globe scrutinize how Big Tech affects children.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

2 hours ago - World

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.