The great majority of Australians—almost 70 per cent of us each week—use the ABC. No other organisation has equivalent reach. It is without question our most important cultural institution. All of us pay for it. It is an important national asset. Yet the organisation is almost never sensibly discussed. Instead ideologues on all sides of politics foam over non-issues. Few citizens know all of the ABC’s parts, or understand its role and potential. Like the blind men probing the elephant, we mistake the whole.