YouTube, which is owned by digital giant Google, has given a grant said to be in the mid-six figures to The Young Turks, one of the largest progressive digital publishers on the platform.
The grant is for an online course called TYT Academy that will focus on the creation of digital-first local news, according to Axios.
The Young Turks was founded in 2002 by former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur –who is currently running for the seat that Katie Hill (D-Calif.) vacated last year and is one of YouTube’s most successful content providers with 4.6 million subscribers.
Uygur has been criticized in the past for making offensive comments about women, Jews, Muslims and other groups as well as for denying that the Armenian genocide ever took place.
YouTube’s investment is part of it’s $25 million commitment to news efforts, which is part of the Google News Initiative announced in 2018.
The TYT Academy will produce a two-track video series of eight videos each. Students earn a TYT Academy certificate after taking short quizzes during the tracks and a final exam after completing each track.
The first track will teach journalism tactics and responsibilities and the second track will focus on best practices for online video production.
According to Axios, Steven Oh, TYT’s Chief Business Officer and the creator of TYT Academy, said that TYT is “not interested in cranking out journalists who share our political viewpoint whatsoever.”
Axios has reviewed the videos which have been online for about two months and said they appear to be nonpartisan but found it interesting that YouTube is investing in a course from a group with a progressive bent.