Gannett announces a mid-September start-up date for its national daily newspaper callled USA Today. Inaugural edition will serve the Washinto and Baltimore areas, with expansion weeks later to Atlanta, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Pittsburgh. Two bits a copy ...Journalism chic: While John W. Hinckley Jr. Stands trial at U.S. District Court in Washinton, his movie idol, actress Jodies Foster, spends the month of May as an editorial intern at Esquire magazine in New York... "Laissez isn't fair, and neither is Reagan," says Ralph Nader's former righthand man Mark Green, who calls his new paperback from Bantam, Winning Back America, "one person's first draft of what electable liberalism could look like." Green, who lost a bid for the Hous from Manhattan's East Side in 1980, heads a New York think tank called Democracy Project that hopes to offfer a philosophical alternative to Reagan's Republicanism.

From the folks who bring you New Homes Guide, Condo Guide and the slick Washington business magazine, Regardie's comes The Washinton Area Guide to Restaurants, a twice-a-year listing of 1,000 area eateries. Publisher Bill Regardie says the Readr's Digest-sized stiff-covered guide will contain no critical reviews but lots of geographical listings and ads. Buy the cover for $7,500 and your restaurant gets flattering, three-page article inside. Due in August, 30,000 copies will be placed in area hotel rooms, 20,000 mailed to subscribers of Regardie's and 50,000 to newstands... A novelist and former Washinton Post writer now living in Colorado, Tom Huth offers a ghostwriting service for people too busy or inexperienced to write their autobiographies. Additionallly, Ghostwriter, Inc., will produce novels written to specification, "with principal characters and themes supplied by the client or with the client cast in the leadng role"...Acropolis books this month publishes America the Poisoned by Lewis Regenstein, vice president of The Fund for Animals. Regestein catalogues a litany of horror stories of chemicals made by man, for man that may wind up doing in man.. Lowest pay in town for free-lance writers may be for the department of Labor's Monthly Labor Review. Authors are paid no noney but are given a proofing pencil, which reads "For a Monthly Labor Review Author."