The Gutsiest Campus Newspapers of 2011

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Whether they were covering the Alabama tornadoes in depth, pissing off James Franco, or exposing undercover drug busts, these campus newspapers boldly broke the news.

Watch This Space: In April, La Salle University in Philadelphia demanded that an embarrassing story about a business prof who’d hired exotic dancers for a class not run above the fold in the Collegian. The paper’s solution? It left the top of its front page blank and ran the story below the fold, gaining national attention. Well played, friends, well played.

Eye on the Storm: The University of Alabama’s Crimson White provided real-time coverage of last spring’s tornadoes, offering eyewitness accounts and a photo slideshow to highlight the destruction.

First Responder: After Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and 18 others were shot in January, the University of Arizona’s Daily Wildcat snagged one of the earliest interviews with UA student Daniel Hernandez Jr., the first person on the scene to aid the wounded congresswoman.

Higher Ed: After a TV news outlet exposed an undercover drug bust that snagged frat brothers for dealing on Columbia University’s campus last December, the Blue and White got the full story behind “Operation Ivy League.”

Tweets and Geeks: Actor/writer James Franco usually keeps his cool, but the Yale Daily News succeeded in riling him up. After a columnist mocked his Twitter feed, Franco tweeted a photo of his face covered in red scrawl reading: “Fuck the Yale Daily News.”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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