To be frank, Drobe do such a good job these days reporting the news that there's little incentive for the smaller news sites to keep up to date. Even if Drobe doesn't get their first, the format means it can win on depth. Most software updates or user group happenings aren't the sort of news items you can look at from a different angle, so once it's reported it becomes stale news anywhere else. Nobody's interested in re-reading boring old news items.
To maintain visitors, each site needs a particular niche - and TIB is guilty for not repositioning itself after Drobe stole all the news. So: Drobe for news, TIB for forums and hosting (and the odd news/opinion piece when Drobe oversteps the mark), riscos.org for links? Perhaps.
Drobe is always banging on about its competition (or lack thereof) - but personally I don't care about that: reporting news isn't some ego thing for me; sadly I'm not often in a position to write a news item when the news comes along. Chris obviously has a keen interest and talent for journalism (I notice he's also involved with his student paper), and as a student he has the flexibility and opportunity to pursue this. It's good to see Gavin with a similar enthusiasm; I hope he manages to keep up the pace. Perhaps it would have been wiser to bolster an existing site, since apart from writing all the content, there's the design and upkeep to consider too.
Having said all that, I'm tapping away a few articles for TIB right now. It must be Christmas!