Just what is an alt-weekly? Baltimore City Paper editor Lee Gardner writes, "For decades, alt-weeklies defined themselves in opposition to mainstream media. If you’d asked me the same question 10 years ago, my answer more than likely could have been boiled down to “Not The Sun. “ No stolid paper-of-record tone. No presumed middle-American, middle-aged, middlebrow filter on language or subject matter. Alts were feisty, upstart, nimble, irreverent, not hidebound and sclerotic, as mainstream print was supposed/stereotyped to be. The daily could break news as it happened and put reporting resources on a story that we never could (and put said story in front of more eyeballs as well), but we were more daring. More gimlet-eyed. More thoughtful. More fun.But with the rise of the web, both dailies and alts have had to redefine themselves in unexpected and often uncomfortable ways.