Freelance Pod

MEL Magazine deputy editor Alana Levinson on what The Great Solicited Dick Pic Experiment reveals about digital journalism

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Episode notes

MEL Magazine's deputy editor Alana Levinson joins me remotely from Los Angeles on this episode, to talk about how necessary editing is for good writing - but it's been devalued in a digital world where any of us can press publish whenever we like. 

Sometimes, editing can feel like a judgement on the quality of our writing [bad, we assume], but Alana wants to reassure freelance journalists looking to pitch MEL that editing is a collaboration, to make the article the best that it can be. 

And yes, she also delves into the origins of The Great Solicited Dick Pic Experiment by MEL writer Miles Klee, and what the piece revealed about the difference between male and female experiences of the internet.

We also talk about his piece on what Frankie Muniz - from Malcolm in the Middle - is up to now, part of a series on '00s nostalgia. He lives in Arizona and own an olive oil company with his wife, as well as tweeting rather cryptically! 

Alana also shares tips on how to pitch her, what kind of stories she's looking for and how she works with writers as an editor. Her job as deputy editor at MEL involves overseeing long form features, investigative work, and special issues — in addition to daily editorial direction. She has also been a freelance writer for the past four years, so she knows what it's like on both sides of the fence.

Here are three MEL investigations recommended by Alana:

- Who are the women of the Manosphere? 

- The Doomsday prepper's time has finally come

- The trans men who get abortions

You can find Alana Levinson on social media here:

Twitter: @alanalevinson

Instagram: @alanalevinson


On each episode of Freelance Pod, creative guests tell host Suchandrika Chakrabarti how the internet has revolutionised creativity and work.