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Tiffen was educated at Monash University, and is considered a specialist in Australian mass media. Tiffen has authored 39 books, Tiffen also co-authored a popular reference book, How Australia Compares, with Ross Gittins, a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald.
- Tiffen, R. (1990). News and Power. North Sydney, Australia: Allen and Unwin.
- Tiffen, R. (2001). Diplomatic Deceits. Government, Media and East Timor. Sydney: University of New South Wales (UNSW) Press.
- Tiffen, R., Gittins, R. (2004). How Australia Compares. Australia: Cambridge University Press.
- Tiffen, R. (2017) Disposable leaders. New South Press 
- "Emeritus Professor Rodney Tiffen". The University of Sydney. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Fitzgerald, Ross (30 March 2017). "Politics review: Disposable Leaders". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
- Tiffen RE 2001 Diplomatic Deceits - Government, Media and East Timor, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.
- Tiffen RE 1999 Scandals, Media, Politics and Corruption in Contemporary Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney.
- Tiffen RE 1989 News and Power, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
- Tiffen RE 1978 The News from Southeast Asia - The Sociology of Newsmaking, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.
- Tiffen RE and Gittins R 2004 How Australia Compares, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge/Melbourne.
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