Morris Jones writes:
High-resolution satellite imagery has been commercially accessible since 1999, when the first commercial 1-meter resolution satellite was launched by a private US company. Suddenly, a technical means that had once been the exclusive domain of intelligence agencies was widely available...It was hoped that the media would eventually make the transition from tasting free samples to becoming paying customers. That didn’t happen. Tasking and interpreting satellite imagery is a highly specialized skill. Journalists and editors aren’t trained for it. Furthermore, ordering satellite images usually costs money. For today’s media, that’s an even bigger problem than the skills barrier...
The result was continued ignorance about satellite capability (abetted by Hollywood). But:
...The media now knows that tasking satellite images takes time, as does the interpretation. They also understand that not even the most talented analysts can be totally sure of what they are seeing. Some of the misconceptions of all-seeing, all-powerful eyes in the sky have been debunked. Hopefully, the media will take the lessons it has learned through covering this tragedy on board, and will be better prepared for the next time satellites are focused on a major story.