Helen Goodman, left, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, said publications should be treated as a “community asset” – similar to how the Government tries to protect pubs from being sold or demolished if they are deemed important to residents.
A lack of local newspapers was “dangerous” as it created an environment in which fake news could “flourish,” she warned.
MPs heard that 22 local newspapers have closed in the past 18 months, although 13 new publications have been established in the same period.
Ms Goodman, a former work and pensions minister, raised the idea of extending the community asset measures during a Westminster Hall debate on the issue.
“Normally this is done with pubs but it would be a good idea if before a newspaper closes a title it is required to offer the title to the local community as a community asset,” she told MPs.
“As I’ve said, I think many of these – like the Camden New Journal – could be run on a financially sustainable basis, could be run by co-ops of the journalists, and I think we need to put this option on to the statute book.”
Margaret Greenwood, Labour MP for Wirral West, earlier suggested there was a need for more journalism as the Government devolved powers to different regions.
She told Ms Goodman: “We are having the election of a mayor for the Liverpool city region, which will take place on May 4.
“Would you agree with me that this decline you’re describing so clearly is really significant given the growth of devolution? We’re going to need more journalism in our localities rather than less.”