It can't be quite that simple or the gas cloud would be behind the black hole.
The X-rays from the 'feeding frenzy' are long gone. Humans were too busy killing each other to notice. If we had we might be able to use this pulse as a fine calibration tool on distances at the galactic center. We still can, it will just take many years and additional gas clouds lighting up.
In any case I'm inclined to give the journalist a pass on this one. If the journalist had actually understood he or she would have been unable to convey it to the public without resorting to some lame metaphor (cosmic echo) that would only serve to get the mouth breathers to think they understand.
They should include a diagram. Language is a really blunt instrument.
Karl Schwarzschild could have supplied an equation to explain it.