Most links on Webmaster World are to a handful of sites, very often big media sites regurgitating a story that is available in its original form elsewhere - and the original is often more accurate or informative the the journalists spin.
I suspect that this is because of the rules on linking, people feel it is safe to link to big brand sites - e.g. "a moderator is not going to think that a link to the BBC is an attempt to promote my own site".
Most of us stand to lose from big sites increasing dominance of the web. Should we be encouraging them with more links at the expense of smaller sites? Also, surely, we want the best links for a discussion, not the safest.
How "big" a site is doesn't matter. How "relevant" it is, does. If a small site has the original source, it is likely to be linked to. The preference for some sites is also that they describe the topic in a more generic way than the original source, thereby appealing to a larger audience.
I am sure that is the intent, but in practice people play it safe by linking to big news - and I see big media secondary sources linked to a lot, very often to the detriment of the discussion because of the lower accuracy/completeness of the secondary source.