On the official Google blog, Jonathan Rosenberg discusses the advent of online journalism as part of a larger essay on technology, and he suggests that the newer medium isn't capitalizing fully on what's available to it.
Rosenberg discusses the disruptive technological forces that have weakened the position of the newspaper as a journalistic centrepiece --- that, in essence, by the time the paper arrives it can be stale (in my personal opinion, a solution to this is to make the paper more contextual, deeper and of greater opinion on larger, better-known stories). He notes the economic transformation and doesn't offer particular solutions to what ails the papers.
But he delivers a bit of a rejoinder to new media.
"The experience of consuming news on the web today fails to take full advantage of the power of technology. It doesn't understand what users want in order to give them what they need."
This is a fixable problem, he notes, because online journalism is in its infancy. But he suggests a site should be able to serve up the latest versions of stories and columns on the basis of what users have preferred in the past.
And he believes a front page ought to have some of the serendipity of a newspaper's, to provide something surprising and interesting that you never knew would be.