20 years ago, you woke up in the morning, heard a "phhhpmp" at the front door, went over, saw the newspaper that you pay to get delivered every morning on your carpet under the letterbox, would grab it, take it to the table, make yourself breakfast, and then read. You'd read news from that newsppaer. That newspaper would take on the honored (or not so honored in some paper's cases) role and responsibility of guiding you through what's happening in the world. To that paper, that position was a relationship to be developed, nurtured, built upon. Your loyal readers would come back day after day, they'd actually subscribe.
Today, you visit a website on your tablet, phone, or PC, usually multiple times a day. Britney Spears' nosejob is a click away from your Twitter stream to the CNN website. An email comes in, and you, on the recommendation of your friend, reading a Huffington Post article about cats. Then you get another email from your mother, and you're on healthy-stuff.com reading about the seven fruits that might stop you getting cancer. Oh, and a person walks by your desk, and says "Did you hear? OMG you didn't? It's everywhere, terrorists just attacked the Dallas book depository, hundreds dead!", and where do you go?
Well, Google, You go to Google. You enter "dallas", and you already have a choice of articles to read, but you click on "More news about Dallas" and there are 50,000 breaking news articles about the incident at the book depository, including articles from news organizations you've never heard of, that are local to Dallas, whose views and coverage you'll respect for this one story... and then never visit again.
At no point have you ever said "You know, I'm going to get my news from the St Olaf Bugle, I'm looking forward to reading it tomorrow."
That is what they're afraid of. That's why several publishers are getting out of the newspaper business altogether, it's why Rupert Murdoch keeps doing stupid things like buying social media networks and starting enewspapers for tablets, and it's why German newspapers are not overly enthusiastic about having their work featured on Google News.