|2016 Silver Circle Inductee Maria Downey|
It’s about trust. Trusting your instincts to do the right thing as a journalist and having the trust of your viewers who know you will always provide that fair and ethical coverage.
Maria knew early on she wanted to be a reporter. As far as she could remember she loved to write and had a keen sense of curiosity. At least she preferred that term to the one her brother: nosey.
In 1976, Maria attended Broward Community College in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., so she could stay local and intern at WTVJ and also at a small local paper, the Western News. She wanted to do both to help determine if she preferred print or broadcast journalism. That's when she discovered she loved the faster pace of TV news along with visual storytelling.
She then attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where she gained experience at the TV and radio stations on campus and graduated in 1980 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Political Science.
Soon after she married her husband Ron and moved for what was supposed to be a “two year “Alaskan adventure.
Thirty-five years later, Maria and Ron are still there discovering that Alaska is a treasure trove of compelling and visual storytelling and a wonderful place to raise their two children, Erin and Michael.
Maria spent the first four years at KIMO, working on daily news and producing and hosting a morning news program and a statewide news magazine. She moved to KTUU in 1985 and throughout the years has anchored and reported, traveling all across the state and five other nations following Alaskans and telling their stories.
Maria has held various management positions, ranging from executive producer to assistant news director. And when all is said and done, Maria finds her most significant achievement has been serving as a mentor and watching new generations of journalists learn the ropes, take the reins and then venture out to be talented and ethical forces across the country. Her most important role, however, is as a mother. As both, her message is, "Take your work responsibilities seriously but also have some serious fun along the way.”