A lot of publishers are hoping that tablets, principally the iPad, will help save them by serving as a platform for getting users to pay for access to content.
But some news apps are doing an end run around publishers to make it easier for users to get the content they want. Some of them pick up and package newspapers' own RSS feeds.
Check out "Read All About It as News Apps Arrive," which describes a couple of news apps.
Also, check out "In the App Economy, Newspapers Are Apps" by Maya Baratz on HuffPost.