The main road through Gueydan can be a quiet place, but we found our story with a little effort inside the building of the Gueydan Journal.
Since March of 1983, The Journal has kept the citizens of Gueydan informed on what’s going on in their town. And for eleven of those years, Judy Leblanc has been the editor.
“The editor that was here before she was here quite a long time,” says Leblanc. “She was an inspiration. When I was here in sales she was an inspiration.”
Starting her journey with The Journal in the late 90s on the sales side of the business, Judy made the jump to editor after a few years off. Her reason, the community.
“It’s a small community,” says Leblanc. “And being able to give back to the community, the paper actually does that.”
For Judy, it’s more than just giving back to a small community though, it’s giving back to the place that helped raise her. And growing up in Gueydan as a child, she’s seen Gueydan change over the years
“There’s a lot that has changed,” says Leblanc. “I think it’s harder for the kids now.”
And she sees the paper as a chance to build up the small Vermilion Parish town
“We try to keep our paper good news,” she says. “There’s the joke there’s not a lot of hard news in it, but that’s okay. Our readers want the good news”
Like many small-town papers these days, the business can be a struggle. But Judy stays encouraged by the readers they do have.
“We have subscribers who really love to read our paper.”
And it’s those subscribers that Judy says makes the daily grind of working in news worth it
“I like the days that are really busy, and I like when people come in and talk to us, and they do,” she says.
Covering her home town from school events and of course, its famous weekend.
“We’ve been putting out the Duck Festival Tab once a year probably since the Duck Festival 43 years.”
All to give back to the place she calls home.
“We strive every day to do something for the community and it’s very touching when you see people really working to make your community better,” says Leblanc.
and she’s sending us next week back to Iberia Parish.