Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, said he's asked staff in the state Senate to come up with a working definition of a reporter.

Marsh said last week that as more online blogs emerge, there have been questions about who is and isn't a journalist.

"The way technology is changing, how do we determine who is a journalist and who isn't?" Marsh said. "It's going to get to the point you don't know who is coming in and out of the press room."

The definition, which is still in development, will be used to credential media members during the legislative session. Credentials get reporters access to media rooms and closer to action in the Senate and House, where the public isn't allowed. The public can watch both the House and Senate from galleries above them.

Reporters have to request credentials at the beginning of each Legislative session.

Bill Britt, who runs the website Alabama Political Reporter, took issue with the definition request in a story this month, saying it might be a way to exclude outlets like his, which has written pieces critical of GOP leadership.

"I think Bill Britt is taking it personally, like it's against him," Marsh said. "It's not."

Definitions aside, there might be less space in one of the press rooms next year. Marsh said there's a plan to turn one of the two small press rooms adjacent to the Senate chamber into a room where senators can watch action in the House via televisions. That will keep senators from having to scurry up and down the two flights of stairs to monitor their bills in the House, Marsh said.

"But I don't care if there's press in there," he said.

Revenue warns of phone scam

The Alabama Department of Revenue warned people last week of a phone scam targeting taxpayers.

Someone claiming to be an employee of the Department of Revenue is making phone calls telling taxpayers they need to make a payment immediately, according to the department. The calls were coming from a New York area code, 607-767-7109 and 607-767-7132. The Alabama Department of Revenue typically communicates to taxpayers through written correspondence, Revenue Commissioner Julie Magee said.

She warned people not to give out personal information over the phone. Anyone receiving suspicious phone calls should call the department at 334-242-3012.

Mary Sell covers state government for The Decatur Daily. She can be reached at Follow on Twitter @DD_MarySell.

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