Though it's true that the publishing industry is feeling the heat, along with the rest of the other industries in the UK, there are still plenty of opportunities for freelance writers. You just have to work harder to find them and raise your game to get those commissions. I was in WH Smith's the other day and was enthralled by the racks and racks of vastly different magazines on a wide variety of subjects. All of them need content. Granted, not all of them will take non-commissioned work from freelancers, but the vast majority of them will. Some might not pay very much, if anything at all, but most of them will.
Your job as a freelancers is to approach magazines you haven't done in the past and come up with pitches that will attract the attention of the magazine editor. If you don't seek, you won't find and if you don't approach, you won't be commissioned.
So get out there, pick up a magazine and get pitching. But give it your best shot - don't be timid or half hearted about it. This is your chance to impress an editor and get your work in print.