As I read the news article, consent that was already in-line with GDPR still qualifies. Other “consent” does not.
So, the newspaper saying that you had to accept their whole lot of tracking in a take-it-or-leave-it way is not in line with GDPR, so their doing that before does not qualify now. Thus, they do not have your consent, and they need it to continue sending you emails.
But if you signed up voluntarily for an email list (such as getting notified of activity here at forum.ind.ie), you don’t need to re-consent because the original sign-up was in a manner that is valid enough under GDPR.
To put another way: those cases that were already doing the right thing pre-GDPR have consent that still applies now.