For a Washington journalist, to have been on President Nixon's enemies list is a badge of honor. But consider what it would mean to be on Nixon's list of friends in the press.

Recently released White House documents show that Nixon's aides did not dislike the entire press corps, especially in the pre-Watergate days. In fact, there were famous journalists singled out for "special treatment" by Nixon's press advisers.

The scorecards for the media were written by former press secretary Ron Ziegler, former communications director Herbert G. Klein, and Larry Higby, top aide to H.R. Haldeman, White House chief of staff.

One Klein memo in 1969, for example, says that Herb Kaplow of NBC is "friendly" but that John Chancellor, also of NBC, is "sometimes negative." Young Dan Rather, according to Klein, was "more favorable than he was prior to the election. He is generally objective on television and sometimes negative on radio in his interpretive reporting."

A year later, in a memo to Haldeman, Higby lists the Top 10 journalists -- among them Walter Cronkite at CBS, Hugh Sidey at Time/Life and two wire service reporters, Merriman Smith of UPI and Frank Cormier of the Associated Press. In the "back-up twenty" were Robert Semple of The New York Times, Carroll Kilpatrick of The Washington Post, Ken Crawford of Newsweek and Rather.

In a Ziegler assessment in March 1970, many of the same names appear, but Ziegler writes to Nixon that "sadly I cannot give a list of 10 TV commentators who I feel should receive special treatment. You will note that I have recommended only five."

The five: Howard K. Smith, ABC; Forrest Boyd, Mutual; Tom Jarriel, ABC; Kaplow; and Chancellor. Ziegler notes that Chancellor "has been extremely enthusiastic about the administration in recent months in his discussions not only with administration officials but others around town ... "

As the papers slowly surface at the National Archives, it becomes clear that there was no one "enemies list" but several, and there was no solid "friends list" but a variety of them with names added or dropped as stories were deemed good or bad by the White House.

In an attachment to one memo to Nixon, there are notes on a variety of reporters -- many of them still working in the business.

In this view, for example, Carl Rowan was deemed "poor, sometimes middle." Tom Braden was "unfavorable," David Broder "objective. The new young 'God' of writers." Max Frankel, now executive editor of The New York Times, was judged "poor now, but varies. Intelligent," and Robert Healy of The Boston Globe was "poor, but varies."

James J. Kilpatrick was considered "excellent" by this assessment that went from Ziegler's office to Nixon's, and Evans and Novak "bad." Sidey was viewed as "a great writer {with} growing influence. Objective. Tells me that he admires you, actively disliked Johnson."

In this week's Time, Sidey writes about "How I made the Enemies List" in 1972, when Nixon said that Sidey and the late John Osborne of The New Republic "are not honest reporters" because of derogatory comments they had made in private. Sidey also notes in his column that President Reagan has not returned his phone calls since he quoted the president in November as calling the press "sharks."

Revenge of the St. Petersburg Times The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times has long been one of those newspapers that hired bright young reporters, trained them and then lost them to big-city editors who paid more and promised grander stories.

Now, the newspaper that was once the unofficial training ground for The New York Times and other papers has launched a counterattack.

Phil Gailey, a political reporter for The New York Times the last six years, yesterday told his employers he was leaving to become Washington bureau chief of the St. Petersburg paper in early July.

Gailey, 43, who had also worked for The Washington Star and The Miami Herald, said St. Pete Times Chairman Eugene C. Patterson was editor of the Atlanta Constitution when he was a cub reporter years ago.

Reached in St. Petersburg, Patterson said that because of changes in the newspaper business, a smaller paper "doesn't have to be provincial anymore."

Of Gailey's move, Patterson added, laughing: "He's been seasoned by The New York Times and now he's ready for us."

The Volcker Non-Leak The stepping down of Paul Volcker as Federal Reserve chairman and the appointment of Republican economist Alan Greenspan as his replacement are proof that business can be carried on under journalists' noses without word leaking to the public.

When Volcker broke the news to White House Chief of Staff Howard Baker that he was ambivalent about staying on at the troublesome Reserve post, the two were at a reception before the March Gridiron dinner, according to one report yesterday.

Moreover, as news accounts this week began to hint that Volcker would stay on, two key players -- Greenspan and Assistant Treasury Secretary Margaret Tutwiler -- went to a party with a group of journalists Monday evening.

At the small dinner given by NBC White House correspondent Andrea Mitchell (celebrating Washington Post White House correspondent Lou Cannon's birthday), there were representatives of The Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun and the Public Broadcasting Service.

Pressed to tell the group that Volcker was staying on, Greenspan and Tutwiler smiled inscrutably, according to others at the gathering.

"{Greenspan} was very good at not giving anything away," said the Washington bureau chief of The Journal, Albert Hunt.