British satellite news broadcaster, Sky News, part-owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, acknowledged on Thursday that its journalists had hacked e-mail messages at least twice in search of news stories, suggesting for the first time that Britain’s hacking scandal has spilled into television broadcasting.

A journalist for the network was authorized “to access the e-mail of individuals suspected of criminal activity,” the head of the network, John Ryley, said in a statement, referring to one incident in 2008 and another on an unspecified date.

“We stand by these actions as editorially justified and in the public interest. We do not take such decisions lightly or frequently,” he said. A wider investigation into editorial practices at the network was underway, he added.