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The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Young Turks (TYT), one of the largest progressive digital publishers on YouTube, is receiving funding from Google-owned YouTube to launch an online course called TYT Academy that focuses on the creation of digital-first local news. Sources say the investment is in the mid-six-figures range.

Why it matters: The investment is part of YouTube's $25 million commitment to news efforts, which is part of the $300 million Google News Initiative that was announced in 2018.

  • As one of YouTube's most successful publishers with 4.6 million for its main account and millions of followers across its affiliated channels, TYT is a logical fit for this type of investment.

The new class features a two-track video series, with each containing eight videos. Users will take short quizzes along the way, and must pass a final exam after completing each track to earn a TYT Academy certificate.

  • First track: Journalism tactics and responsibilities.
  • Second track: Best practices for online video production across many online platforms, not just YouTube.

For now, the course is in a trial period. TYT plans to expand the program more broadly after first testing it with 10-15 people.

  • The goal of the class is to get everyday people engaged in digital media so that they can help report on their local communities.

Yes, but: While TYT takes a strong progressive position as an outlet, Steven Oh, TYT’s Chief Business Officer and the creator of TYT Academy, told Axios on a phone call that TYT is "not interested in cranking out journalists who share our political viewpoint whatsoever."

The big picture: Facebook has also invested in online news courses from publishers. In December, Axios reported that Facebook would be funding an online deepfakes course for newsrooms by Reuters.

Our thought bubble: The videos for this course, which have been online for about two months, appear to be nonpartisan, but it's notable that YouTube is investing in a course from TYT, which has a progressive bent.

  • Facebook has said that it will include partisan publishers like Breitbart in its news tab, but says it won't necessarily pay Breitbart. The company hasn't released a list of all of the publishers who are being paid.

Go deeper: Young Turks' founder Cenk Uygur running to fill ex-Rep. Katie Hill's seat

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.