Syracuse University Magazine

A Community Journalist Remembered

Charnice MiltonAs someone who works in the word business, I pay close attention to headlines. But no headlines have ever broken my heart more than the ones announcing that a reporter had been shot and killed in Washington, D.C. The reporter was Charnice Milton G’11, who earned a master’s degree in journalism from the Newhouse School and was a student intern with us here at Syracuse University Magazine. According to reports, Charnice had covered a meeting for Capital Community News (CCN) and was headed home the night of May 27. She was on the street, making a bus transfer, when she was fatally struck by a bullet intended for someone who reportedly grabbed her and used her as a shield. She was an innocent bystander whose life was ended at age 27 by people with no regard whatsoever for the sanctity of life.

Sadly, such violence is all too common in America. Good people are taken from us everyday. I could go on here about all the issues this encompasses, but I would rather reflect on the energetic young journalist who loved to write and was a woman of deep faith. Charnice was a wonderful person and those of us who worked with her here will remember her for her positive, cheerful attitude, her smile and humor. She was thorough, conscientious, inquisitive, and hardworking, tackling assignments with enthusiasm and great initiative, determination, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity. She was dedicated to developing her professional skills and excelling as a journalist.

In her work for the magazine, Charnice wrote a few stories about people making a difference in the lives of others. It’s an ever-present thread in our pages—look through this issue and you will see example after example of members of the University community who have taken on roles bigger than themselves to help others and bring about change. Charnice was no exception. She grew up in a tough neighborhood in southeast D.C. and refused to let personal disabilities deter her from her goals. She headed to Ball State in Indiana, where she earned a bachelor’s degree before coming to Syracuse to further her education at Newhouse.  

After graduating from Newhouse, Charnice returned home, committed to making a difference in her community. She spent countless hours reporting on the people and events in the area. Those she covered recognized her passion and dedication to her work, to telling stories that otherwise might not have been told. In an online post, Yvette Alexander, a D.C. councilmember who represents the ward where Charnice lived, wrote, “Her work as a reporter for East of the River Magazine [a CCN publication] was stellar as she kept readers informed and interested in learning more about what she covered. Regularly covering community meetings, she touched the lives of many….”

Charnice not only touched the lives of the SU Magazine staff, but of all those who knew her here in Syracuse, from faculty and classmates to those she sang with in a local church choir. We are forever grateful to have known her and will remember how she lived her life with such joy and goodwill.

Jay Cox