There are strong precedents for Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young's bid to sue Zoo Weekly for photoshopping her head onto a lingerie model's body, defamation experts say.

The high-profile case may also clarify how far media outlets can go in ridiculing politicians through digital manipulation. The Daily Telegraph has attracted attention recently for depicting former speaker Peter Slipper as a rat and Kevin Rudd and Anthony Albanese as Nazi characters from Hogan's Heroes on its front page.