You don't mention whether your goal is to be a staff photographer (paid a regular salary to take photographs by a news outlet of some variety), or a freelance photographer who takes on journalistic assignments. Both routes are difficult, however becoming a staff photographer is the more difficult of the two routes... Even more-so in a recession, and in an industry that's in serious decline...
I had a journalism professor who used to give his ironic/sarcastic 'four step formula for being a photojournalist' which went something like this:
- Step 1: Get a full time job doing something other than photojournalism.
- Step 2: Become friends with the publisher of the news source you want to work for and hope they give you a call.
- Step 3: Spend 30 years doing the job in step 1.
- Step 4: Retire.
I've watched several of my students try to break into photojournalism over the years with varying degrees of success. In my experience breaking into photojournalism is a little like breaking into the record business... It requires a lot of hustle, a lot of unpaid hard work, some serious networking and schmoozing, a lot of time, and a fair amount of luck.
Disclaimer: I'm in the US, not the UK. I kinda doubt there's a lot of difference, but just in case there is... You've been warned! ;-)