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A free press allows people to make informed choices about their future. By contributing to media freedom in autocratic societies and emerging democracies, RFE/RL is supporting the long-term development and stability in the region we cover. RFE/RL’s budget is less than one percent of the overall federal budget and is spent fostering an open media climate as a core democratic value. This is vital to U.S. national security and foreign policy objectives to advance universal human rights.