What's fascinating is how many people predicted something like a tablet newspaper. It makes me think that it was not that hard to imagine a big screened device that displays rich media. The bigger challenge was to imagine how news stories themselves might change in the web era. It was easier to deduce that the interface might change than that the words people would want to read would be different, too.
The kind of newspaper story that we grew up with in the latter half of the 20th century was historically specific. (If you don't believe me, take a look at the Chronicling America collection of newspapers from around the turn of the 20th century.) It was a genre like the 18th century novel or the epic poem. It had conventions and people who policed its boundaries. There were schools that taught you how to write news stories and tests that could see if you knew what you were doing. A story in the paper might have looked like the organic way of delivering a piece of new information about the world, but it wasn't any more natural than a television anchor's diction.