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Students fight, and lose, when looking for records on athletic concussions; Russian Facebook ads analyzed; Midwest key to Trump in 2020; and look out MN — we want our millennials back

Of note: In a story relevant to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s ongoing coverage of concussions in sports, the Student Press Law Center finds it is not just in Wisconsin where injury data are hard to come by. (See for another installment in our concussion series.) We also offer a shoutout to our former intern, Nick Penzenstadler, who along with a team of USA TODAY NETWORK reporters, read all 3,517 (!) Facebook ads the Russians beamed at us. Read about Wisconsin’s efforts to lure Minnesota millennials. And know that we here in flyover country may hold the most power when it comes to President Donald Trump’s future.

WisconsinWeekly is produced by Andy and Dee J. Hall, a couple who founded the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Andy is the executive director and Dee is the managing editor.

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Between unclear state policies and privacy laws, finding concussion data can be a headache for reporters

Student Press Law Center — May 10, 2018

Over the last decade, sports concussions have become an increasingly high-profile topic. But reporters looking at concussions at the high school and college level face significant barriers in obtaining the data needed for these stories. School officials often deny requests for generalized concussion data, incorrectly citing privacy laws, and sometimes concussion information isn’t being tracked in the first place. Earlier from WCIJ: University of Wisconsin football players downplay warnings while proof of brain injury — even from small hits — piles up and Former Badger plans legal action; says he ‘wasn’t aware of brain injury’ risk

Midwestern voters gave Trump a chance. Now, they hold the key to his political future.

Washington Post — May 10, 2018

A report by the Washington Post traces the long arc of changing perceptions of Donald Trump voters, from the initial recognition of Trump as an unforeseen political force to the expectations during the early weeks of his presidency, and then through various chapters of chaos, dysfunction and policy changes.

We read every one of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. Here’s what we found

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — May 11, 2018

In a USA Today report written by former WCIJ intern Nick Penzenstadler, Brad Heath and Jessica Guynn, reporters reviewed each of the 3,517 Facebook ads bought by Russians. The Russian-based Internet Research Agency consistently promoted ads designed to inflame race-related tensions — more than half made express references to race. An interactive approach by the New York Times allows readers to see which Facebook ads Russians targeted to people like themselves.

Wisconsin is coming for Minnesota’s millennials

MinnPost — May 15, 2018

Last month, Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill approving $6.8 million for efforts to attract workers including an ad campaign that will highlight the perks of Wisconsin life in the hopes of attracting millennials form other Midwestern states. Most years, however, Minnesota gains a lot more Sconnies than Wisconsin gains Minnesotans.

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism ( collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

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