It's hard to say what happened, but what you mentioned here is very telling:
"Also, the councilor told me that although my essays and resume were of no concern to the adcom, she'd really like to see a major improvement!"
That's basically double speak for "your essays sucked." You probably didn't say anything bad or self-incriminating (hence "no concern") but that your essays were likely dull and clinical.
As for this year, it's hard to say. What works in your favor is that unlike 99% of your fellow Indian compatriots, you're NOT an engineer and you didn't even do an engineering degree. So that alone you'll naturally stand out. What you'll need to do though is still put together strong essays -- and if you have a journalism background, the adcom will hold you to a higher standard (since you should be much stronger of a writer and communicator than the average MBA applicant).
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