In short order, no. There is nothing Google can do to help out the newspapers in this country. The newspapers of this country are doing too little, too late and nothing Google does is going to change this.
One thing the article linked above does get right however, is the complete unimportance of branding information. It doesn’t matter. People read about events, they don’t follow sources.
The single saving grace that newspapers could do is take the Topix model, then apply it to all sorts of mobile phones. From the SMS only to the latest smart phone. Make the content available, sponsored by whatever, for free or by subscription — ads depending. It’s not un-doable.