Professor Rod Tiffen's "teaching and research interests are in the mass media, Australian politics, comparative democratic politics, democratisation and Australian relations with Asia. He is particularly interested in the intersection of politics and the media as one of the key arenas of political activity - and crucial in terms of the quality of public information and debate. This concern fed directly into most of his research, including books such as News and Power; Scandals: Media, Politics and Corruption in Contemporary Australia; and Diplomatic Deceits: Government, Media and East Timor. Rod currently holds an ARC Discovery Grant to analyse changes in the Australian press's political reporting over the last 50 years.
"While his main interest has always been Australian media and politics, Rod has also often taken a comparative approach, first stimulated when he was visiting professor in Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo in the mid 1980s. This interest is reflected in his most recent book, co-authored with Ross Gittins, How Australia Compares (Cambridge University Press, 2004). An interest in comparative media developments is also at the heart of his ARC funded study of Cable and Satellite TV in East Asia, undertaken with Dr Ki- Sung Kwak.
"The interest in media has also taken him to some interesting and unexpected activities. He acted as an observer of South Africa's media during that country's first democratic election, and has three times undertaken reviews of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's international broadcaster, Radio Australia."