The face behind Avocado on Toast – a podcast for millennials

Massive Magazine sat down to avo’ good chat with communications student Hazel Osbourne, the brains behind Avocado on Toast, the capital’s newest podcast, which looks at millennial’s problems and how they bite back. The podcast is produced and developed at Wellington Access Radio, where Osbourne is currently interning.

What do you study?

I study a bachelor of communications, majoring in Journalism.

Tell me about Avocado on Toast, where did the idea come from?

The whole idea for Avocado on Toast basically came from me considering a radio show that would appeal to my peers. My flat mates and I were kinda just sitting around watching television and I was harassing them, asking for ideas and we eventually decided that avocado on toast was a good combo of funny, relevant, and memorable.

What themes will you explore? Why?

Well, so far I have released three episodes which are all topics that affect Gen Y (millennials) specifically focusing on students and young professionals. It’s tricky picking specific themes when there is so much quality content at my fingertips but the way I focus on what to cover stems from my own personal experiences and putting the feelers out to see if others are affected by whatever I’m thinking of also. So I think the themes I will explore with this podcast will essentially cater to my target audience while also having a more intimate feel, which I think podcast do well themselves as a media platform.

Who is your audience?

So it’s gotta be your average student/yo-pro millennial type figure. I wanted to create content that my peers enjoyed so that they felt represented in the media. I know there is already so much for millennials out there but the topics I’m covering as I said before basically come from conversations I’ve had with friends and people my age about topics that impact their day-to-day.

How have you chosen themes that will be relevant to your audience?

As cliche as it sounds, it’s basically about opening up a dialogue between me and my audience. I’ve had people private messaging me with ideas that they’ve had after listening to an episode and it’s really important to me that I take on these suggestions seriously because ultimately I’m here to create content my listeners want.

What do you think it is about podcasts that appeal to a younger generation?

I think that there’s this denigration of news media, especially in an age of Facebook algorithms and Seven Sharp, that makes a lot of our news seem untrustworthy or not as thorough as we expect news to be. Podcasts are not only an excellent platform for long form journalism but when you listen to a podcast, to a conversation between two people it gives this element of intimacy with the information you’re absorbing. I loved podcasts for a long time for these exact reasons.

What are three podcasts you would recommend?

To support New Zealand broadcasting I’m going to have to say Black Hands – a family mass murder about the Baine family murders, Caucus which is excellent in the lead up to our election and of course Media Watch, which has helped me think critically about the media for a while now.

Do you think radio is a dying medium? Why, why not? Has there been a recent surge in its popularity, especially for a younger audience?

I don’t think it is, no. People said that it would die out when the television was introduced as a new way of getting information but it’s still kicking around. Radio and podcasts aren’t a new way of getting information, a lot of people consider podcasts to be a product of our generation but they’re basically radio shows formatted for an online context. Like most technology, radio will adapt and for that, I think it’s not going anywhere.

How do you enjoy your avocado?

Smashed with feta and tomato, aha.

Millennials are often labelled as avocado-loving, bad with money, self-obsessed and lazy. Why do you think they are labelled this way? Is it true? 

I think it’s really easy to label millennials that in the age of convenience we live in currently, we are self-obsessed for sure but a whole generation can’t be blamed for an attitude that was basically invented by baby-boomers. If you google search ‘millennials are killing…’ it comes up with a multitude of ridiculous excuses where our generation is supposedly single-handedly responsible for the downfall of every industry you could think of. I think this just shows how eager older generations are to criticise millennials. I’m gonna get a tiny bit political and say that boomers are so eager to vote for policies that enable them to remain financially top-dog. If this isn’t self-obsession I don’t know what is. They should technically be focusing on the future of the country but every time a boomer votes to make their housing portfolio more lucrative they’re making my first home less affordable for me.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Who knows really, probably, hopefully, 32.

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