YouTube Spending $7 Million To Help Independent Journalists, Newsrooms Start Their Own Channels

By 05/07/2021
YouTube Spending $7 Million To Help Independent Journalists, Newsrooms Start Their Own Channels

YouTube is spending $7 million on two new initiatives aimed at helping independent journalists and digital-first newsrooms launch their own channels.

Tim Katz, the platform’s head of news partnerships, told Axios YouTube is investing in the pair of programs because its user base wants more trustworthy video news content.

“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.”

Both new initiatives–the Creator Program for Independent Journalists and the Sustainability Lab for Digital-First Newsrooms–will disburse financial grants and offer professional training, all aimed at getting more journalists and newsrooms to run their own YouTube channels.

The Creator Program will select 40-60 journalists from around the world to receive grants of up to $50,000 each. Recipients will also have access to video production and business development training, per Axios.

As for the Sustainability Lab, it will give 20-30 digital-first newsrooms grants of up to $200,000 each, and is explicitly aimed at helping them build sustainable businesses on YouTube. Recipients will reportedly work with video journalism specialists to learn best practices.

It’s not yet clear when these programs will begin accepting applications from journalists and newsrooms.

As Axios notes, this is the first time YouTube has made its own investment in news content separate from parent company Google’s $300 million News Initiative. That kicked off in 2018, and seeds funding in a variety of news-related projects related to things like combating misinformation and giving local newsrooms more access to technology.