Maharat Foundation strives for a democratic society ruled by the values of freedom of opinion and expression and respect for human rights. It is a specialized organization endeavouring to defend the freedom of opinion and expression by developing the media sector, advocating for legal reforms, building knowledge and awareness, disseminating information and building capacities of diverse social, media, culture and civic actors. Gender Equality is a major cross-cutting pillar of Maharat’s programs.
Maharat aims at modifying the legal framework related to media laws in Lebanon through participatory process of advocacy actions and activities leading to the reform of the current laws that are not in line with the international standards of freedom of expression including media laws, organization of journalists' profession, the cancellation of censorship on artistic work, the access to information and the media electoral reform. Moreover, Maharat acts as a watchdog to monitor the violations against freedom of expression and issues statements, alerts and yearly reports accordingly.
Since its establishment Maharat has conducted training workshops targeting journalists, journalism students and activists in order to build their capacities on areas related to media and human rights, media and conflict, media and development, investigative journalism, inclusive journalism, digital media. Furthermore, Maharat has worked with municipalities to build their capacities on media and communication to increase their transparency.
Throughout its work on advocacy, capacity building, and resources production since 2006, Maharat has built an extensive expertise in media, has been able to form a network of journalists and succeeded in gaining their trust. In addition, Maharat worked on building strategic partnerships with universities, civil society organizations, parliament members and activists which enabled Maharat to influence public policies at local level. Maharat acts as a catalyst for change and build on participatory and multistakeholder approaches. Opening debates, building consensus, influencing policies and sensitizing media to play a positive role in the society are Maharat’s main goals. Maharat has launched a news platform in 2014 that serves as a new model of journalism monitoring public policies and media performance by aadvocating for freedom of expression and civil society issues, providing internship opportunities for journalism students and media monitoring, presented in an attractive and simplified way like illustrations and infographics.