The difference between the words “alternate” and “alternative” is a HUGE difference.
Alternate means to change about by turns, such as “He sees his children on alternate weekends.” Or: “As the sheep come through, take every alternate sheep.”
But alternative means a choice between things, such as “He chose the alternative to a sure death.” Or: “We had no alternative but to give in.” Sure, people mix-up these words all the time, like “bought” and “brought”. But to mix up alternate and alternative is unforgivable for a journalist. Your editor would roll his eyes and ask himself: “What other dumb mistakes are in this article? Can I be bothered to check everything? Or shall I chuck this in the bin and move on to some other freelancer’s submission?”