While the Berkeley Daily Gazette wrote approvingly of police roundups of hundreds of runaways in Berkeley, the Barb articulated a point of view more sympathetic to the runaways themselves and the organization, the Berkeley Runaway Project, that had recently been formed to support them.
Through the testimony of Margo Horn, director of the Berkeley Runaway Project, the Barb punched back at a number of assumptions driving the Daily Gazette‘s coverage of the issue, most notably the assumption that runaways did not have permission from their parents to be in Berkeley. It also described the process by which the runaways were handled — from their detention at juvenile halls in Oakland and San Leandro to their release to parents or, often, the Runaway Project itself.
The article also reveals a telling facet of the Runaway Project: one quarter of the members of its board of directors were under 18 years of age. It was conceived not just to serve runaway youth but also to give young people a voice in how the problems of runaway youth would be handled.