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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

Updated 24 mins ago - Science

China launches first astronauts to new space station

The manned Shenzhou-12 spacecraft from China's Manned Space Agency onboard the Long March-2F rocket launches at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, on Thursday morning Beijing time. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

China's Shenzhou 12 mission carrying three astronauts launched into orbit on Thursday morning Beijing time.

Why it matters: Astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo are set to occupy China's new space station. This will be the country's longest crewed space mission ever and the first in almost five years.

Biden's two-step negotiating process

President Biden departs Geneva. Photo: Martial Trezzini/Pool/AFP via Getty

President Biden's summit "reset" was less about trying to make a friend out of Russia than reframing what the U.S. believes can be accomplished by engaging with President Vladimir Putin.

Driving the news: The Geneva meeting yielded no immediate breakthroughs beyond agreements about ambassadors returning to work and plans to launch talks on nuclear security. But in classic Biden fashion — aviators on, jacket off and a one-liner about invading Russia he had to clarify was a joke — the U.S. president used a post-summit news conference to explain his approach.

Scoop: NRCC to accept cryptocurrency donations

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Republicans' House campaign arm will begin accepting contributions in cryptocurrency, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The National Republican Congressional Committee is the first national party committee to solicit crypto donations. That puts it at the forefront of a disruptive financial technology that could test campaign finance rules.