Santa Barbara journalist honored with national award
Local publisher and journalist Bonnie Carroll was presented with a 2022 Association for Women in Communications Clarion Award at the October AWC National Conference in Kansas City, Mo., along with more than 50 other national award recipients.
These coveted awards are judged by a panel of seven AWC judges from around the country.
Ms. Carroll’s work as editor of Life Bites News, a nonprofit online/print newspaper or newsletter. “Successful Aging” won a 2022 Clarion Award.
“At the age of 80, I was shocked and overjoyed to receive this award. It is such an honor to have this outstanding panel of judges view my work and honor me with a Clarion Award. I am so incredibly grateful,” said Ms. Carroll.
“I see the Successful Aging Newspaper/Newsletter as a great forum for keeping seniors informed on issues relevant to our community, and it is a healthful tool for communicating valuable information to seniors on community activities and services available to them.”
In 2019, Carolyn Jabs, AWC Santa Barbara’s past president, presented Ms. Carroll, publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News, with the Member of the Year Award during the group’s December holiday celebration held at Uncorked Wine Tasting & Kitchen.
“Bonnie is an exceptional communicator who spontaneously uses her skills on behalf of our organization. A consummate professional, she takes advantage of new technologies to tell the stories of places and people that capture her attention,” said Ms. Jabs.
Ms. Carroll has also produced her own radio show and contributed to a variety of national and international travel and lifestyle publications as well as local publications, including Food & Beverage International Magazine, Santa Barbara Daily Sound, Food & Home Magazine, SB Seasons Magazine, Noozhawk.com, Edhat.com as well as doing radio/TV appearances.
Often, she serves as a judge at prestigious food festivals and was the coordinator of the first Basil Festival in Malibu, St. Pat’s Parade and original Coffee Festival in Beverly Hills.
As an appointed member of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee public relations commission in 1984 and owner of BCPR, a boutique public relations firm, she was selected to co-manage the LAOOC’s press operations at Pepperdine University and traveled with the gold medalists on a historic tour following the Olympics.
As a photojournalist, she has published stories of her travel adventures around the world and hopes to cruise Antarctica on the Viking Octantis as well as go air ballooning over Turkey soon. Her first children’s book was published in 2002, and she has plans to release a second one in 2023.
Ms. Carroll works and lives in Santa Barbara, is the mother of four, grandmother of three and great-grandmother of two little Canadian boys, many of them have collaborated with her over the years or just provided great inspiration for past and current endeavors and travels.
“My first book was an eBook for children, ‘Cross Creek Charlie,’ a story about a little turtle from a proud family of turtles who had watched generations of children growing up at Malibu Cross Creek,” Ms. Carroll told the News-Press. “The story was created and illustrated from the research I did writing the museum tour, which is still being given, as a founding member of the Malibu Lagoon Museum (now the Adamson House Museum) and docent coordinator in 1983.”
“The children’s book I am currently working on is ‘Worldly Winston,’ the story of a little seagull from Santa Barbara. Can’t say much more. I am doing the illustrations, and it will be a fun around-the-world travel book for children.”
Ms. Carroll was born and raised in Chicago, where she worked as a stage, film and television actress and did radio voice-over work as a young woman. After living in Malibu and Beverly Hills, she moved to Santa Barbara.
“I came here to write travel stories for Food & Beverage International Magazine, Beverly Hills Times Magazine and Brentwood Media Group publications beginning in 1985. I moved to Santa Barbara permanently to be near my daughter and grandson in 2006,” she said.
“I wrote travel and society columns for SB Daily Sound and Montecito Journal and features for Food & Home and Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine. I did some appearances for travel news on local radio and some ‘Around the World’ travel (radio shows) with (News-Press Co-Publisher) Arthur von Wiesenberger.”
“I was a weekly travel writer guest on a Taos, N.M., radio show, and I also had my own radio show ‘Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News’ on Cable Radio Network in L.A., where I interviewed chefs, celebrity restaurant writers like Larry Lipson of the L.A. Daily News and food writers like Charles Perry of the L.A. Times.
“I also did live remote radio shows from Maui for an annual chef fundraiser for cancer, and in Beverly Hills for the city of Beverly Hills’ first Hawaiian Festival and Chili Cook Off, for which I received a proclamation from the mayor of Beverly Hills).
“As far as I know, I am the only journalist to have a front-page story published in a local paper featuring the publisher/editor of a competing newspaper. This was a story I did on March Schwartz, Beverly Hills Courier publisher, when he was BH Chamber Man of the Year. It was on the front page of the Brentwood Media Group 90210.”
The Association for Women in Communications is the premier organization for empowering women with the strength, support and tools for elevating a career and becoming an agent of change in the industry. AWC is a network of like-minded women who are genuinely invested in helping members reach their potential and is a strong national network of communicators in a broad range of disciplines.
For Santa Barbara membership information, visit www.awcsb.org.