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Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: tdall@wwltv.com | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans is clearly rallying around The Times-Picayune. The community organized a tailgate rally Monday night.

State lawmakers also passed a resolution in the Senate voicing support for the publication. Other allies include a Times-Picayune Citizens' Group, which has also taken up the cause to save the daily paper.

'Publish seven days or sell to an owner committed to the common good,' said Jerry Siefken, reading a homemade sign he carried at Monday night's tailgate rally at the Rock n Bowl.

The motto has become the battle cry of the Save The Times-Picayune movement, which hopes to persuade the owners of the paper to rethink their decision to downsize.

'We're encouraging the corporation to either sell the paper or print it every day,' said Anne Rolfes, who helped organize the rally.

Last month, the newspaper's parent company announced with little warning that it would drop the daily paper to three days a week.

The company said instead it would turn its attention to nola.com, which is the online version of the paper. But critics argue not everyone has easy access to the internet.

'We feel that a lot of people in Gentilly are elderly people and would be at a disadvantage to have to go online or to the library to look for a paper everyday,' said Gentilly Civic Improvement Association President Dalton Savwoir, Jr.

Brandt Lewis turned out to Monday night's rally. The New Orleans native said The Times-Picayune is an essential part of the fabric of this city.

'Its the pulse of New Orleans. It would be a travesty if we lost it because unfortunately someone wants to cut costs. Not to mention the jobs that are going to be lost. That's what no one is talking about,' said Lewis.

In addition to the tailgate rally, 70 New Orleans civic and business leaders sent a letter to the owners of the paper asking the company to sit down with the community before moving forward with its recent announcement.

'You have to try. You have to reach for the stars and you might get a moon. Who knows? Maybe they'll realize this community is different from the other markets they're talking about,' said Women Of The Storm founder Anne Milling, a member of that group.

As part of ongoing efforts to preserve the newspaper a Save The Times-Picayune petition is also circulating online. Click here to see the petition.

The paper's incoming publisher Ricky Mathews told Eyewitness News on Monday:

'It is incredible so many people love the newspaper,' said Mathews, but he added, 'a three-day publishing model puts the paper in the best position to survive and serve the public.'

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