In 2011 Kerry Obrien gave the Wallace Wurth Memorial Lecture at The University of NSW available at http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2011/06/07/3236951.htm
In this lecture Kerry talked about ‘Astro-Turfing,’ the art of creating false grassroots movements.
The suggestion is that News Limited created the Tea Party in the USA with an army of computer avatars who created the illusion of a major political force before it had any human members. Kerry also mentions the email campaign that toppled Malcolm Turnball in favour of Tony Abbott, and questions if that was a real email campaign or another example of astro-turfing. Kerry also brings in Julian Assange and the tobacco companies.
I am not going any further with this because Kerri O’Brien talks about the race to the bottom and the manipulation of the news by large organisations better than I can. It is as relevant today as it was in 2011. It is well worth watching by anyone who is interested in the debate about the manipulation of the media.